While the current electronic age holds the promise of a "paperless world," most small businesses have yet to touch down on that particular planet. Whether you're a solo practitioner or a growing manufacturer, streamlining your company's waste flow can spur growth and efficiency.
Following the three Rs — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle — will have your company's output toned and fit in no time.
The benefits of efficient waste management include:
- Producing less waste means less time spent managing it – or paying someone else to store or dispose of it.
- Reduced paper and other clutter means less time wasted searching for necessary items and more time building your business.
- Adopting a new, eco-friendlier or more efficient policy offers great PR opportunities.
- The bottom line: efficiency costs less and earns more.
Find a waste removal solution easily onlineAll trash removal services are not the same. Shop for best service and prices for the type and volume of waste your business produces.
Be proactive and pare downHaving your business waste hauled away probably costs you money. The more waste, the more it costs. An ounce of waste prevention can save your business a ton. Do a waste audit. Look for ways to decrease waste.
WasteWise program offers tips on business waste reduction and prevention. One key way to accomplish this is to invest in high quality scanners to back up paper data - check out HP's Digital Sender – a workhorse designed just for this purpose.
Assess what can be reused and recycledImplementing a company-wide recycling program doesn't have to be complicated; a few phone calls to your building manager or municipality to determine your options should get you started. Then e-mail a memo asking staff to participate.
Unload excess stuffAll businesses need a cost-effective contractor to dispose of waste. Some contractors serve specific industries, so check with your local municipality or state EPA for green disposal services.
WasteWise Resource Management section to find an eco-friendlier resource management contractor. Contact your state's EPA to find industry-specific contractors specializing in waste disposal for your company.
- For a business investment that's never wasted, be sure to back up all electronically stored data. System crashes are often described as "when" rather than "if."
- Donate used items to charitable organizations and gain: feel-good waste reduction, a tax write-off, and positive buzz for your biz.
- Seemingly small steps like refilling ink and toner cartridges and switching to electronic document storage can ultimately yield big savings.
- Start an incentive program for employees to participate in a recycling program and offer rewards to the biggest contributors.
- Examine how other companies manage waste and implemented recycling programs to see what worked (and didn't) for them.