4 Ideas to Try for New Approaches to Recycling and Waste Reduction

By: Alexandra Kueller

Zero waste is becoming ever-present goal in companies around the world, meaning those companies are trying to find new and innovative ways to recycle. In a recent GreenBiz webinar presented by John Davies, the topic was just that: innovative approaches to recycling and waste reduction. The speakers from the webinar included Tom Carpenter, John Bradburn, and David Walter, who each focused on what their companies are doing to help reach the goal of zero waste through new means of recycling and waste reduction.

Below are the tips we've gathered from watching the webinar:

1.       Think of ways to reuse your waste

  • If you’re faced with excess material and waste, don’t just disregard it; think about what it can become.
  • For instance, General Motors took leftover engine crates and turned them into raised urban gardens that grew food for the local community.

2.       Separate your various waste streams

  • Instead of placing all of your waste into one stream, separate out what you can to potentially identify certain waste that can be recycled in a non-traditional manner or even reused.

3.       Look upstream for ideas

  • If you could potentially fix the problem at its source, wouldn't you at least try? Start by looking at where the waste originated from and see if you could potentially design that item to have less waste.

4.       Don’t be afraid to reach out for help

  • Sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes: reach out to a third party or look at supply chain partners for new ideas on how to recycle your material.
  • DuPont used this approach in their recycling campaign and by 2011 they achieved their goal of zero waste.

Do you have any tips on what works well for recycling in your company? Share your thoughts in the comments below!