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Best ways to handle waste reduction

Buying products that include recycled materials and manufacturing your own products with reused materials are great ideas to help improve the quality of life. Through the implementation of the waste reduction programs, companies have been known to save lots of money annually, all for just a small investment in energy and time.

The implementation of a waste reduction program is much easier to achieve with the right direction and support from the top management. Top management should present the idea of waste reduction and recycle programs to its team members and offer meetings and training to further develop the idea. Make sure everyone, including managers, is informed and involved.

Evaluate the location of waste and recycling containers. See that all bins are easily accessible to employees and close to the point of waste. For example, you may notice that an office waste paper bin is next to the fax machine or the printer. Make sure waste and recycling containers are easy to reach and have easy and wide opening to drop recycled materials in. Take the time to check out the condition of the containers. If they are dirty or overflowing, let someone know or take care of the matter yourself by removing or replacing the bins with clean or empty ones.

Continually make your staff members aware of the waste and recycling programs. Posts signs or place waste and recycling containers in plain view of anyone passing by. You can start a program with the idea of reusing packaging and pallets for shipping and receiving. You can work with suppliers to use returnable and reusable containers. You can encourage your staff members to use their own coffee mug instead of the paper cups and you can replace cafeteria paper products with long lasting items. You can think of buying all reusable glassware and silverware supplies including the table linen and serving equipment for company parties or events. You can offer ways to design and manufacture products with reusable parts. You can sell or donate non-functioning equipment to others that can use them.

You need to be informed about the use of toxic chemical materials in your workplace and you should try to replace or change your choice of purchasing toxic chemical materials. Of course, make sure you dispose of the toxic chemical materials properly following all regulations. For your office supplies, order or purchase products only made out of recycled and recyclable materials as well as those that have less toxic chemicals. For all your shipping, use corrugated board packaging that is very easy to recycle.

In general, white paper, corrugated cardboard and aluminum cans are the easiest to recycle. Other recyclable materials can be added as the waste and recycle program continue to grow and are well implemented by your company.

There are so many valid reasons to reduce waste. One of them can be to demonstrate serious concerns for the environment, others can be to help enhance and beautify your outside and inside work area which create a positive public image and increase customer and employee retention. Moreover, reducing waste can improve the overall company's efficiency and profitability.

For a waste reduction program to be successful, it is necessary for the top management to show concern and offer support. The general managers and the executive team members must show their support with their own example. Words are not good enough. Employees watch their leaders to see if they actually participate in the program with actions as well as with words. It is important that everyone is involved and that individuals feel that they can truly make a difference.

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