Waste reduction tips for your small business

waste reduction
Photo credit Getty Images

This article is sponsored by PECO, an Exelon Company.

Cutting down on excess waste at your business will not only save money, but it's also good for the environment.

As a business owner, reducing the amount of waste your staff and customers produce doesn’t have to be expensive or too work intensive. Here are some simple strategies you can implement to minimize waste at your workplace.

Perform a waste audit

Assess what your facility throws out by looking at inventory that becomes waste. From there you can determine if there are areas you can replace with recyclable or compostable products. Reevaluate when and how often trash and recyclables are picked up so bins and dumpsters are full at the time of removal.

Reduce printing

While moving to a paperless environment would be ideal, it isn’t always practical. But reducing how much you print is obviously key to making less paper waste. Setting printers to default to double-sided printing, refraining from printing emails, and cutting up scrap paper to use for office notes are three simple ways to use paper more efficiently. Instead of getting expensive printer cartridges, buy refills to add to existing ones. Unless needed for presentations, make sure printers are switched to black and white printing over pricier color copies.

Get rid of disposable cups/utensils

Remove single-use coffee cups, cutlery and plates from any office kitchen or break room. Affordable kitchenware can be found online or at discount stores and will save money in the long run versus having to constantly purchase disposable ones. Put up signs to remind staff to wash their own dishes or place them in the dishwasher so they don’t start to stack up.

Eliminate bottled water

Similar to cups and utensils, plastic water bottles are wasteful and pile up quickly. Hydrate your staff by either adding water filters to faucets or getting a water cooler so employees can fill up their reusable cups and tumblers throughout the day.

Label recycling bins properly

Note how many recycling bins you have and if they are placed in the best locations. Add as many bins as needed to make it convenient for staff to stay on top of recycling. Make sure all bins are labeled clearly with what materials go into each. Including images of examples can be extra helpful and can often be obtained from the hauling services picking up your trash and recyclables.

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