4 Tips for Getting Closer to Zero Waste

Here is a 2012 blog post from when we attended the 2degrees webinar “Beyond the Bin: From recycling to zero waste.” We think that the advice is worth sharing a second time around! Check out the tips and add your own suggestions in the comments below:

1.  Choose “single stream” – by allowing employees to sort recyclable material into a single receptacle, you can expect to see an increase in recycling of up to 50%. Make it easy for employees, and they’re more likely to participate!

2.  When crafting a zero-landfill strategy, don’t just focus on recycling. Be sure to include options like: closed loop solutions (reuse), composting, and supply chain management.  Remaining materials that can’t be recycled or reused can be converted to energy through conversion technologies: waste to energy, plasma gasification, and anaerobic digestion.

3.  When designing new facilities, be sure to think about waste conveyance design. Make sure you consider the following:

  • Internal areas for collection, storage, and separation of materials
  • External space for multiple container sizes and service areas
  • Design for ease of use

4.  To improve recycling in existing buildings, review the following items to make sure you’ve covered your bases:

    • Signage
    • Bin size
    • Bin type
    • Tenant education, key component to gain buy-in maybe have a kick-off meeting and continuous reminders with metrics and goals
    • Space constraints
    • Service area

      If your organization wants to get a better handle on its waste, a great first step is conducting a waste audit. We’ve developed a toolkit (webinar, guidance, and templates) all around How to Conduct a Waste Audit. If you find that your team doesn’t have the gumption to sort through all that trash, contact us to arrange a waste audit done by sustainability professionals!