The Cumberland County Improvement Authority has a variety of services available to businesses in Cumberland County to assist with their recycling needs. It has been a leader in promoting environmental stewardship in business through its Business to Business Waste Seminar which has been used as a model throughout the state. Businesses continue to play an important role in Cumberland County’s success as the number one county in the state for recycling.
RECYCLING AND WASTE PREVENTION ARE GOOD BUSINESS…
Until recently, you might not have paid much attention to the waste your company produces. Many businesses have been content simply to establish and manage an efficient system for removing trash. Times have changed, however, and so has waste management. In New Jersey the Mandatory Source Separation and Recycling Act forever changed the way residents of New Jersey treat their solid waste. At the same time public concern over the effects of all this waste has grown significantly. Today more and more customers are taking environmental consideration into account when purchasing products and services.
What exactly is waste prevention? Waste prevention includes all actions taken to reduce the amount and/or the toxicity of waste requiring disposal. It includes waste prevention, recycling, composting, and the purchase and manufacture of goods that have recycled content or produce less waste
THE BUSINESS OF RECYCLING AND WASTE PREVENTION…
The most obvious reason to recycle is because it’s the law. But there are other reasons as well. Recycling may actually reduce the cost of doing business while offering an alternative to disposing of unavoidable waste. Today, companies are seeing an increase in the complexity and costs of managing their waste. Companies are finding that recycling and waste prevention programs offer impressive dividends.
The Cumberland County Improvement Authority’s recycling staff is ready to help your organization establish a waste prevention and recycling program tailored to meet the needs of your organization or to help improve your existing program. The following information is arranged to help you begin designing your program, to help you start reducing your waste, and to give you information about buying recycled products.
The most effective way to reduce your company’s waste is to generate less in the first place. Your company can adopt a wide range of waste prevention strategies including:
•Use or manufacture minimal packaging. Encourage suppliers to minimize the amount of packaging used.
•Work with suppliers to make arrangements for returning shipping material such as crates, cartons and pallets for reuse.
•Use and maintain durable equipment and supplies. Purchase quality long-lasting supplies and equipment that can be repaired easily, and establish regular maintenance schedules for them.
•Reuse products and supplies. Consider adopting simple, cost-effective measures such as washing and reusing ceramic mugs instead of disposable cups.
•Using supplies and materials more efficiently. Reduce waste and conserve materials by double-sided copying.
•Eliminate unnecessary items. When reviewing your company’s operations for opportunities to reduce waste, don’t overlook the obvious. Your company may routinely use items that contribute little or nothing to your product or service.
DO A WASTE AUDIT. HERE’S HOW…
•Save samples of all that is disposed of for one week.
•Separate the material into recyclables, paper trash (cups, plates, coated boxes, etc.) food wrappers, non-recyclable plastics (Styrofoam, disposable cutlery, etc.)
Now ask the following questions…
•What have you found that can be reused?
•What disposables are unnecessary and could have REUSABLES substituted for them?
•How much paper was recycled that only had one side used?
•Can cloth towels be used in the restrooms instead of paper towels? If you must use paper towels, are they made from recyclable material?
•Are things being discarded (notebooks, pens, etc.) that could be used by another department or company?
Remember, the more material that you keep out of the trash, the more you will save in disposal fees…and the more you are helping the environment.
Practice waste prevention by eliminating waste before it is created. It may be as simple as not purchasing products that have excess packaging, or not promoting the manufacturing of such products. Here are some tips:
•Buy in bulk whenever possible.
•Buy products that are durable and will last.
•Use both sides of paper when copying.
•Use reusable mugs, plates and cutlery in the lunchroom.
•Use inter-office email (when available) for memos.
•When office equipment is due to be replaced, consider more environmentally friendly choices (for instance, a copier that will duplex).
Items that can be recycled include the following…
•Glass bottles and jars
•Tin, steel, bi-metal cans
•Plastic containers #1 & #2
•Unwanted mail and catalogs
Universal waste is a specific hazardous waste stream that has been designated by EPA or a state as universal waste. The Universal Waste Rule provides alternative management options for specific hazardous waste streams. Items included are batteries, electronics, fluorescent and compact bulbs. All universal wastes should be taken to a Class D recycling center. For a complete listing of Class D recycling centers in New Jersey visit www.state.nj.us.
SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES FOR RECYCLING…
•Get everyone involved! From custodial staff to executives, every individual in your company should understand the program’s goals.
•Make the rules clear. If staff is confused about proper disposal, they are likely to do the wrong thing.
•List what is recyclable and how to properly separate materials.
•Distribute information periodically so that all employees are up to date on changes.
•Provide an abundance of receptacles for trash and recycling so that everyone can easily reach them.
•Mark all receptacles clearly. Stickers can be made available.
•Post reminder notes in various places (over the copier machine, etc.).
•Purchasing agents should be on the lookout for special offers in bulk.
For further information, contact Dennis DeMatte Jr., Recycling Coordinator, at 856-825-3700 or by email email@example.com.