Waste Prevention

Why Recycle?
It’s the Law

In 1989, the California “Integrated Waste Management Act” (Assembly Bill 939) was passed. It required all municipalities to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by 50% by 2000. Now recycling is mandatory for many California businesses http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Climate/Recycling/default.htm

Economics

Most businesses will be able to cut costs for trash disposal after they start recycling.

Environment

By recycling, you conserve valuable natural resources. Using recycled materials to make new products saves energy and reduces the amount of air and water emissions produced during the manufacture of new products. Recycling and composting are proven Greenhouse Gas Reduction strategies as explained in a 2011 U.S. E.P.A report

Industry/Business

Recycled materials make up a significant portion of our nation’s resource base. By recycling, you provide industry with the raw materials it needs to make new products. This supports business and jobs.

It’s Good for Business

Recycling makes good business sense. Your customers will appreciate your participation, and you will be sending the message that your business cares about its community and the future. Businesses which recycle will receive a certificate of participation which can be displayed in a window or lobby.

What Kind of Services Are Available?

A variety of recycling services is available. Recyclables may be collected from carts, dumpsters, or even roll-off containers.

The type of service best for your business will depend on the volume and kinds of recyclable materials your business generates.

Help Is Available

Your service provider can help you get a recycling program started at your business.

  • Free consulting services to audit your business’ waste stream and design a recycling program.
  • Assistance with planning and implementing an employee education campaign.
  • Sample educational materials including memos, flyers, and posters. here are many things you can do to reduce your waste that involve little to no cost. With a little dedication, these tips can become best practices for your organization.
  • CalRecycle’s business waste reduction page includes resources to get you going.
  • Industry-specific fact sheets and case studies hone in on issues and successes.
  • Reduce Paper Use
  • Although the prevalence of laser printers and high quality copiers made the fabled “paperless office” a joke, with over three times more paper consumed each year by American business, the Internet era has made the goal far more attainable. Here are some ideas for reducing paper use:
  • Print double-sided.
  • Use single-sided discards for draft prints and photocopies.
  • Print only the number of copies you need.
  • Save documents and share them through email.
  • Use Word’s annotation features to edit and markup documents on your computer screen.
  • Use Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader to share and markup drafts of documents on your screen.
  • Route paper-only documents to the various stakeholders rather than making photo copies for each person.
  • Reduce Shipping Materials
  • Reuse boxes and packing for packages you send.
  • Use shreded office paper for packing instead of new styrofoam peanuts.
  • Whenever possible, use or request that suppliers use durable packaging that can be reused.
  • Other Tips
  • Stem the tide of junk mail and waste paper by removing yourself from unncessary mailing lists.
  • Review your internal business processes to ensure that your use of supplies does not generate extra and unnecessary waste and expense.
  • Purchase durable equipment and regularly maintain it. From tractors to office chairs, you can avoid waste by buying quality gear and taking good care of it.
  • Buy recycled toner cartridges and recycle spent cartridges.
  • Tips for Specific Industries
  • CalRecycle offers tips for specific businesses and industries including facts sheets, case studies, posters and links.
  • Food Service
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • Landscapers
  • Legal Profession
  • Meetings and Conferences
  • Offices
  • Printing
  • Property Management
  • Retail Stores