How to make recycling work for your business

Still not sure about investing in recycling for your business? A study released by the World Bank late last year should be your wake up call.

According to “What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management,” the volume of municipal solid waste is expected to grow worldwide from 1.3 billion metric tons per year to 2.2 billion metric tons per year by 2025. And it’s going to cost the world’s cities $375 billion to manage it -- almost double the current $205 billion.

Think about how this could impact your business. It’s reasonable to expect higher taxes and new regulations for managing your waste -- even now, California mandates recycling programs for businesses that produce at least four cubic yards of commercial solid waste per week. For business owners, there’s potential to lose a lot of choice when it comes to running your company.

How can we avoid this ominous waste future? Shift the paradigm to focus first on recycling -- and then send what little trash is left to landfills.

The good news currently is the percentage of recoverable material is rising while trash sent for disposal is declining. We call this the “evolving ton,” and recycling and waste companies are gearing up to handle more recyclables than ever.  

A big part of what will make the "evolving ton" successful is single-stream recycling. This system, where all recyclables can be combined in one container, makes it easier to recycle because waste stream solutions providers handle the sorting. But for some companies, their waste stream may present more unique and complex needs.

Photo of seperated recycling bins provided by Kasia Bialasiewicz via Shutterstock.

Next page: Unique waste streams require unique solutions