Creating a Waste Management Plan
If you have a small business, how do you handle your waste? Most businesses are so busy meeting the needs of their customers, that they often do not give a second thought about waste management.
But, is there a benefit to being responsible for our waste from a business standpoint? According to Biomedical Waste Services, there is a “5% turnover, and by recycling, you can reduce your costs at the landfill and of bulk waste removal — and put that money back into your business.” And, saving money is always a benefit!
So, with that being said, does your business currently have a Waste Management Plan? If not, let’s explore a few things to consider when creating one.
Waste Wise Products, Inc. said the first thing a company should do when creating their management plan is to go around their business the day before “trash pickup.” Evaluate how full your trash bins are and what types of products are in there.
After you have an idea of what type of waste you have and how much, you can get to work.
First, you need to establish who will be in charge of your new plan. Will it be yourself, or will you delegate? Either way, having someone in charge brings a sense of accountability, and your business will most likely stick to its new plan.
Making some goals is the next step in the process. Ask yourself “why” you want to control your waste. Is it simply to save money? Or, do you feel a sense of responsibility to do what you can to help maintain our planet? Do you want a company reputation of helping the environment? Do you want to encourage other local businesses to keep your community clean and accountable as well? Just like in every area of life, when we are aware of why we’re doing things, it can help keep us motivated to reach our goals.
After you’ve set your goals, it’s important to consider if you want to simply reduce, reuse, or recycle your waste. And, of course, having to send your waste to the landfill would be a last resort.
Hold a quick meeting with your staff. Let them know what your exact goal is and see if they have any ideas to add to your plan as well. Having everyone on board will keep your business on the same page.
It’s also a good idea to brainstorm with your staff to see if they have any ideas on how to reuse the items that you repeatedly buy (and throw away).
Then, make sure you have recycling bins in every area of your business. If recycling bins are visible everywhere your staff and customers are, it will create a “company culture” of responsible waste management. Plus, having recycling bins easily accessible is a great reminder of the need to properly put away items that are no longer being used.
Provide incentives to your team. For instance, you could offer a small monetary bonus to the staff if waste stays below a certain quota during a certain period. Having this kind of incentive truly makes for a team effort.
Finally, write your plan down, distribute it, and track your progress on a regular basis. Hold monthly meetings just to re-establish your goals and keep your staff motivated. Congratulations! Your business is now on track to reducing waste and doing its part to help save our planet.
What are you doing this week to change your approach to waste? Comment below, I’d love to hear about it!