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Making Recycling Successful in Small Business and Communities

As a business owner, you are already well-versed with the fact that the success of a business depends on maximizing profits and minimizing costs through optimal utilization of resources. Recycling is a simple yet effective way to use all your resources optimally, thereby reducing general operating and overhead costs.

Benefits of Recycling 

Enhances Brand Image
Developing a green strategy and approach can improve the reputation of a business. Neilson research reports that a majority of consumers worldwide (66 percent) would prefer to support companies that give back to the society. Nearly half (46 percent) would actually pay extra for products and services from such enterprises.

Increases Competitive Edge
According to the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report, nearly nine in 10 Americans say the words “conscious consumer” describe them well and are 87 percent more likely to buy from companies that commit to environmentally-friendly practices.

Optimal Resource Utilization
As a business, you must strive to imbibe recycling as an organizational culture, as it has a higher chance of being a successful endeavor if each employee truly practices it in their daily routine. Through appropriate implementation, operations will be streamlined and costs will reduce over time.

Increased Productivity
According to a Global Study of Business Ethics by the American Management Association, one of the top five internal practices for ensuring an ethical corporate culture is developing corporate social responsibility programs. Employees who work with companies who are “doing the right thing” in the field of corporate and social responsibility show more work satisfaction, which in turn increases overall productivity.

Improves Investment Opportunities

Having a green company also broadens your horizons regarding receiving and securing funding for your business. This is because investors are also more likely to invest in green companies. In fact, a Goldman Sachs study revealed that businesses that are considered leaders in environmental, social and governance policies have outperformed the general stock market by 25 percent. Such promising stats cannot be ignored, especially by smaller businesses. The likelihood for such businesses to receive loans to further their working capital is greater as well!

Staying Ahead of Regulations
Minimizing waste is a major factor that can largely reduce a company’s environmental and social impact. It is estimated that by 2020, companies would be required to cut 25 percent of their carbon emissions and 50-80 percent by 2050. This will be mandated by both state and federal regulations in the future.

Make an Impact
Apart from the cost-saving benefits of recycling, there is also the feel-good effect that recycling has on people. People feel better knowing that their everyday actions and efforts are playing a larger role in making the world a better place.

By simply choosing to recycle, you not only significantly reduce the carbon footprint created by your business, but you also foster a healthy habit among your peers. Such collective efforts ultimately nurture a community spirit to make a move towards greener technologies and will eventually make a difference to the environment.

10 Steps To Conduct Successful Recycling at Your Workplace
Step 1: Commit to the Cause
Simply deciding on becoming a green business and reducing wastage isn’t enough. To ensure that your vision has a positive outcome, align your recycling goals with national organizations that promote recycling and implement various programs to further the cause.

Step 2: Assemble a Task Force
For a fully committed approach, involve all members of your staff for cross-functionality. Each department can have one person in charge, who can ensure all recycling guidelines are met and will oversee the progress.

Step 3: Conduct a Waste Audit
To begin with, analyze all the waste generated per department to have a clear idea of what needs to be done next. After inspection, implement relevant suggestions to overhaul the lagging or problematic areas.

Step 4: Develop a Plan
Once you have identified the areas that need focus, create a comprehensive plan that can accommodate such areas apart from the regular recycling efforts that need to be carried out.

Step 5: Make it easy
Since recycling is more of a team effort, draft a plan that is easy to understand and adapt. For instance, color code the recycling bins according to the waste product that goes in it with appropriate labels.

Step 6: Launch the program
Start by sending out a memo to all your employees introducing the recycling program and encouraging their participation. Then provide them will all the necessary information and materials to carry out the program and you can also ask for their inputs. Once the program kicks off, you can introduce rewards systems or quick competitions to keep things interesting.

Step 7: Monitor Progress
Don’t stop at implementing a plan to recycle, but also develop an analysis methodology to ensure your efforts are making the required difference. Evaluate the generated waste and waste reducing processes to ensure the best outcome.

Step 8: Share Success Stories
Share recycling success stories internally as well as externally. Give credits when due, and rewards if necessary. It will boost employee morale and enhance engagement too. Sharing such success stories with your clients and customers is another good way to inspire others while promoting your achievements.

Step 9: Buy Recycled Materials
Try to implement the use of green/recycled products wherever possible. Notify all departments to look for recyclable alternatives rather than the usual options and try to reuse products as far as possible, such as recycled paper, refillable ink cartridges, etc.

Step 10: Encourage Your Community
By promoting recycling among those around you, you are making a much larger impact by leading by example. Even if the progress is slow, it will eventually contribute to the much larger cause of saving our planet. Hence, anything and everything done to achieve that can and will make a difference.
From the point of view of even a small business, recycling can definitely make a lasting impact on the communities around. If each and every business owner shows even a little commitment to this cause, soon it will be possible to scale their small efforts to larger and more successful drives. Thus, a small step today towards recycling will make a huge difference tomorrow to protect our environment and save the planet!

Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipments can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog

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