Recycling has become much more popular than it was decades ago, especially since most of us have become more conscientious of our limited resources. Therefore, recycling has become a staple in most people’s daily lives, making it a greater importance that businesses large and small make recycling a natural part of their daily operations.
Businesses throughout Nevada have made major leaps in going green by incorporating sustainable elements such as LED lights and renewable energy powered offices. Although there are many creative ways businesses can go green, many places are focusing on how to make good old recycling fun and innovative.
Here are some ideas for going green and creating a successful recycling program at your company:
1. Recycle Electronic Waste
Some people may not realize they can recycle their electronics, everything from computers, printers and fax machines to televisions and DVD players. You can hold a drive among employees to collect the electronics and donate them to a local charity and/or thrift store.
For the charitable minded, The Blind Center of Nevada has an electronic recycling program where they accept everything from DVD players to office phones. For business customers, they offer free asset-removal, which is carried out by their in-house removal team. After the items are repurposed or recycled, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to The Blind Center of Nevada.
2. Recycle Cigarettes
Many wish to quit smoking, but those that haven’t yet kicked the habit can still give back to the environment by recycling their cigarettes. Some businesses hold drives to collect packs of cigarettes during the annual Great American Smokeout in an effort to promote recycling as well as quitting of smoking.
Another way to incorporate this type of recycling into your daily business is to have designated cigarette recycling receptacles located throughout the office. And, there are companies that help businesses recycle these items, such as Terracycle, which is a cigarette waste recycling program. The company accepts everything from extinguished cigarettes, cigarette filters and loose tobacco pouches to outer plastic packaging, rolling paper and ash. For every pound of cigarette waste Terracycle collects, $1 is donated to the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.
3. Reduce Plastic and Styrofoam
One of the most detrimental types of waste is plastic. Many cities across the country are working to decrease their use of plastic. Some grocery stores have gone as far as urging people to bring their own reusable bags or purchase them at the store. Restaurants are also putting in work by steering away from using Styrofoam. The packaging is cheap to produce, but its lightweight texture makes it easy to get picked up by the wind and swept into drains, on the ground and into water ways. Choosing a different yet still effective packaging method can help sustain our environment.
4. 3-D Printing
3-D printing has given businesses a new avenue to recycle while increasing their production speeds. Benefiting both large businesses that deal with mass production as well as small, private businesses, a 3-D printer can create metal parts at commercial production speeds. This reduces by-product waste.
4. Create corporate responsiblity
The best way to keep employees motivated when it comes to being green is to implement a corporate social sustainability program for your company. This includes coming up with specific goals and ethics for how your company supports sustainability. It also gives your company a way to vocalize your support and that you are environmentally conscious.
Companies that have a sustainability program in place can use it to monitor their team member’s recycling on a monthly basis, create charts to keep track of how your company is improving recycling numbers and hold friendly competitions between departments/employees.
Scott Seastrand is Vice President of Western Elite.