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While many teams are working from home these days, some people are still logging their 9-5 workday in a communal space. From offices to schools, hospitality to manufacturing, there are commercial spaces producing waste on a daily basis. 

Reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills is a focus of Western Elite, and we have some tips for doing so where you work so you can save money on resources, including your routine roll-off dumpster rental.

Why It Matters

Sustainability has numerous benefits. From an environmental standpoint, reducing waste helps preserve our planet for generations to come. From a business perspective, reducing waste can save money and improve public image.

Getting Started – Waste Audit

A waste audit is the first step in the process of reducing commercial waste. Your business needs to know what is being used, what is being wasted, and how it’s being disposed of. You can use Energy Star’s free portfolio manager to track your business’s waste or outsource it to a professional auditor. Knowing your weaknesses will help you develop a game plan for those eliminating pain points.

What a Waste Audit Looks At

A waste audit evaluates the types and quantity of waste produced by your business during a certain period. A good audit also determines where the waste ends up, such as the landfill vs a recycling facility. 

When scheduling your audit, be sure it coincides with a typical work week; you want to analyze the trash produced during a regular work week and not one with any special events that may generate inaccurate data.

Waste Categories

Depending on your industry, your waste categories may vary. Typically, the waste is divided as such:

  • Aluminum
  • Cardboard
  • Electricity
  • Food waste
  • Glass
  • Packaging
  • Paper
  • Plastic bottles
  • Plastic – other
  • Water

You can further break down categories such as paper used for marketing materials or office printing. Get specific about what you’re using, and where it ends up.

Sorting and Weighing

Once categories have been set, items collected during a waste audit will be sorted and weighed to determine volume. This will allow you to see the comparison between categories, as well as the comparison between what’s considered trash and what’s recyclable. You might be surprised to see what accidentally ends up in the trash that could be recycled through the proper channels.

Data Analysis

A standard formula for analyzing the data is as follows:

  • The weight of recyclables divided by the combined weight of recycles and trash
  • Multiply the result by 100

This calculation allows you to see the percentage of what you’re recycling each week, and where you can improve. Chances are, you can reduce the frequency of your regular trash pickup or amend the roll-off dumpster rental size you’ve been using as you heighten your recycling efforts.

When you see reports that outline where you’re generating the most trash, you’ll know the best practices for reducing the amount of commercial waste you’re producing.

Ways to Reduce Commerical Waste

Here are some questions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ask when considering how you can take advantage of available resources in your community for recycling:

  • Regional – What material end markets and processing facilities can you access, particularly if you have large amounts of materials?
  • Local – What materials are accepted by your municipal or county programs for recycling or composting? What services do haulers in your area offer? Are there other businesses or organizations that could use your waste material, like waste exchanges and donation outlets?
  • Within a Building – What services does your hauler offer for your building? Are recycling and composting bins visible and convenient?

There are numerous tactics for reducing commercial waste across any industry. If you’re not already implementing the following, it’s time to consider it.

  • Donate food waste
  • Outsource recycling
  • Change packaging materials
  • Paperless billing
  • Provide water bottle filling stations/fountains
  • Recycle electronic waste

You can make it easier for employees and clients to recycle by providing clear containers for doing so and incentives for participating. 

Roll Off Dumpsters for Recycling

If you have questions about recycling in the Las Vegas valley and surrounding areas, contact Western Elite today. We operate two recovery facilities that allow us to sort through 100% of the waste we collect in our roll-off dumpsters. From commercial to residential, we’re committed to recycling all that we can.