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Managing Waste at Your Business

Mar 15, 2018 • by Written by Kevin Lugo, Outreach & Education Coordinator, City of Reading
Recycling Information

Businesses make choices every day that affect their bottom line. One of these choices is how to manage waste, such as office paper, paper cups, plastic water bottles, and cardboard. Waste management is a $75 billion industry in the United States – how much do you spend to remove your waste?

Basic trash service is a necessity of any functioning business. Nationwide, businesses are increasingly turning to recycling and composting to reduce costs and attract environmentally-conscious customers. The recycling and composting rate more than doubled in the U.S. between 1990 and 2014, growing from 16 percent in 1990 to more than 35 percent in 2014. Cardboard and paper are among the most common items recycled by businesses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that almost 90 percent of cardboard is recycled.

Some people think recycling is something to do at home and don’t give much thought to recycling at work. But businesses, institutions, and industry account for 77 percent of all the recycling in the United States. Is your business doing its part? The City of Reading operates a recycling system for its residents. Businesses are required to recycle as well but have the flexibility to find a solution to meet their needs.

Why Recycling Matters There are plenty of valid reasons why businesses should recycle. Here are some to consider:

Cost: waste removal is expensive. Recycling is usually less expensive than trash disposal – an opportunity to save your business money.

Community: People care about more than just service – they want to know that the businesses they visit are keeping the community clean and healthy.

Environment: Garbage is a major source of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing your waste you are leaving a better world for your children.

Tips For Managing Business Waste

Waste Audit: Review what you are throwing away – you can probably recycle much of it.

Pair Containers: For highest effectiveness, recycling and trash containers should be located next to each other and labeled well.

Avoid Disposables: Disposables like paper and Styrofoam plates, plastic bottles, and plastic utensils may be convenient but you pay for them in disposal costs. Try reusable options instead.

To learn more, visit the City’s website at www.readingpa.gov/content/commercial-trash -recycling or contact the Sustainability and Solid Waste Office at [email protected].

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