Every business generates waste one way or the other. For some, it may be only waste paper or dirty water; for others, it may be hazardous or toxic wastes that require special handling and disposal. Whatever the type or volume of waste your company generates, it is all the same in one respect: it’s costing you! In fact, you are paying for it twice: when making a purchase, and when throwing it away. The bottom line is that preventing waste will save you money.
By consuming or throwing away less, you will reduce the need to handle, treat and dispose of waste. Waste prevention can take many forms, including:
- Purchasing durable, long-lasting materials
- Striving to eliminate raw materials that are not incorporated into your final product or service
- Using products that are free of toxic materials
- Reducing the amount of packaging
- Conserving water and/or energy
- Implementing in-process recycling
Many waste prevention efforts, such as two-sided printing and using email in place of printed copies, are inexpensive and simple to implement, often involving simple change in attitude or work procedures.
Waste prevention is a business strategy form which any company, regardless of size or type, can benefit. In addition to cost savings, it can also help you improve worker safety, reduce liability, and enhance your image in the community. Also, if the waste you are eliminating or reducing is regulated under municipality law, and your reductions are significant enough: you may avoid costly permits and government approvals.
In addition to these financial benefits, waste prevention is the right thing to do. Preventing waste prevents pollution, making your neighbourhood and community a safer, healthier place to live in.Ultimately, everybody benefits from waste prevention.
Recycling is the process whereby materials that would have become waste are converted into new materials and products. Many companies realize that it makes both economic and environmental sense to recycle a material rather than dispose of it. However, the recycling process still requires handling, energy use, and reprocessing. The key point to remember is that the materials you are sending to the recycler present lost revenues because they are not becoming a part of your product or service.