Green business, green careers and job training
Solutions that build smart communities with green careers and sustainable businesses!
HOME
EDITOR'S BLOG
FEATURE ARTICLES
GET STARTED

Save on Career Education through Lorman Education

Our readers are offered a discount on Lorman seminars and courses. Check out their business, management and legal offers at this link to qualify for our discounts. They also offer green business training opportunities. Please visit http://www.lorman.com/training/CaliforniaGreenSolutions for a complete listing of courses. Register online or call Lorman at 866-352-9539.
Home > Feature Articles > Recycling Business Strategies for Natural Resource Conservation and Reuse

How Do You Get Started with a Zero Waste Initiative?

Recycling waste materials opens up opportunities for better management of property, reusable content, and employee benefits.

Find green business solutions
"Entrance varies by company," Gary Liss, a zero waste consultant explains. "Aveda cosmetics does it one way. Toyota does it another." A best-practices approach starts with identifying what a company is discarding. "KNOW YOUR DISCARDS" is the first step. Ferret out where they are being generated.

KEY STEPS TOWARD ZERO WASTE

1. Know your discards: What do you buy?

Start thinking about where secret waste is hiding. When you compare your purchase orders with your waste reports, you will be able to determine what percentage of your business is being flushed down the proverbial toilet!

2. Design it out: What do you get rid of?

Design is a powerful tool in a zero waste strategy. By eliminating waste coming in, monitoring your supply chain management, taking back products and minimizing packaging -- you not only eliminate waste but will probably identify some service opportunities. Recycling programs that help you and your customers reuse products, compost it, recycle it -- service voids that provide business opportunities.

3. Cut subsidies for waste: What can you eliminate?

The way you structure your waste contracts can make or cost you money… and your suppliers! The EPA has a website (epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/reduce/wstewise/wrr/rm.htm) for resource management that helps you restructure contracts to include targets for diversion from landfills and incineration that pays for the end result. You can share the savings and profit benefits with your service providers! That's incentive! You eliminate the subsidies for wasting in your own company, as well as your service providers.

4. Plan and build a Zero Waste infrastructure: Work with your communities.

Internal infrastructures are complemented by industry- or community-wide systems. By working with your service provider or local community, you can identify types of services that could fill your gaps in waste management. By setting up internal systems -- such as a paper recycling system of bins and collection, you can control some of the waste stream. Timing is always part of an infrastructure change. Time is needed to reuse materials. Workflow can be restructured. The downtime while waiting for permits can provide time for deconstruction and dismantling of C&D materials earlier in the process.

5. Plan for value: Retain form and function provides maximum value.

Reuse businesses are the highest rung of value for waste management. Re-Stores by groups such as Habitat for Humanity and Urban Ore provide the highest value. Materials that retain their form and function lengthen the direct life of materials and products. Food scraps can be reused for people, animals, composting and fuels. Construction and debris waste is more valuable when left whole, but composite materials and some toxic products, as well as light weight products such as Styrofoam offer particular challenges.

Many Toxics can be reused or recycled!

Not all toxics are lost causes. After all, we buy them in pristine toxic condition off the shelf! Some companies help recycle toxic substances by combining different types of chemicals to produce new life: non-toxic, neutral or productive chemicals.
  • Oil and antifreeze are both recyclable toxic materials.
  • Paints and oil are 50% of household hazardous wastes -- and are totally recyclable!
  • Pesticides, cleaners, paints, can be "swapped" to allow others to use them for their original purpose.

"Swap Shelves" at household hazardous waste events are popular solutions for this highest rung of the waste management ladder. Swapping materials holds the highest priority in the hierarchy of options by retaining the form and function of the product.

Michael Huls has identified ways to view discarded materials that are generated. And Urban Ore has identified how to view discarded materials as ripe for Zero Waste alternatives.


Organize your hunt for discards that have profit potential for your business.


Organize your hunt for discards that have profit potential for your business. Michael Huls' 9 areas in which business waste are hidden can be crossed with Urban Ore's 12 master categories of materials. The result of this profit-hunt can be quite a boost to a company's bottom line!

Michael Huls' nine areas of business waste hideaways.

Most businesses will harbor a unique mix of these hiding places!
  1. Warehousing and distribution
  2. Offices
  3. Food services
  4. Grounds
  5. Construction
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Vehicle maintenance
  8. Retail
  9. Housing and hospitals

You can turn your hunt for hiding places of these urban treasures into a company wide adventure. It's better than a company picnic...and the rewards create a cleaner workplace, less waste which could translate into more resources for employee compensation or resources!



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
Green Solution Providers
Green companies directory
Submit
your green solutions - business, nonprofit, government program.
It's free.
| zero waste | waste materials |

Share in Social Media

Sign Up For News & Information
Subscribe to our free solutions newsletter
BONUS DOWNLOAD (PDF)
"Ten+ Tips for Greening Your Office"

SUBSCRIBE HERE
Read prior issues: California GreenLines

Search For Green Solutions

Custom Search
Green Career Center
Green Job Wizard
Career Certifications Directory

green job training certifications
Green Biz Center
Solutions For Green
Directory of Green Companies

Solutions for Alternative Energy

rose in natural systems
Green Living Center
Solutions for Green: Consumers

Solutions for Remodeling

Backyard Nature Center

INSTANT GREEN POLL

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." Goethe
RECENT ARTICLES
SITE NAVIGATION
ABOUT US

Related Articles

Recyling Grows to New Levels - Composting & Exchanges

Multi-family Waste Management for A, B and C Class Properties

ZERO Waste Communities

Related Green Resources

Marcom Tips
Interactive & Video Tips

Career Resources

We encourage lifelong learning to support sustainable communities and provide these select resources to help you pursue green and sustainable self-development:

Lorman Business Training Directory of On-line Business and Compliance Classes

Green Job Wizard Job and Career Certifications Directory

Job & Career Resources

Governance
Management
Manufacturing
Operations
Facilities
Transportation
Finance
Sales & Marketing
Human Resources

Green Economy

Business Sectors
Natural Resources

Solutions For Green

About Us ~ Privacy Policy
Contact Us ~ Home

Text Link Ads

AD: Place your link here

ABOUT CALIFORNIA GREEN SOLUTIONS

We help you green your career, workplace and community by connecting you to quality green, sustainable and high performance resources. California Green Solutions focuses attention on effective solutions that sustain our natural systems. You can support our editorial work by supporting our advertisers and spreading the word about best practices and green solutions.
California Green Solutions is a publication of Carolyn Allen ~ Copyright ©2006-2030 Carolyn Allen

B2B | Job Certifications | Alternative Energy | Events | Green Directory | LED Lights | Remodeling |
CONSUMERS | Backyard Nature | Senior Health | MultiMedia Marketing | Marketing | Networking Events | Japan |