A new generation of entrepreneurs is on the rise, using technology as an approach to take businesses paperless. With tech savvy businesses in the market, many of their competitors that are not yet paperless are faced with the decision to continue budgeting office supplies like paper, printers and toner or kick start into the age of technology. Making the jump to a paperless business may not be in the plans for the near future, but fear not, there is another alternative to saving your business money – launching a recycling program.
Businesses statewide are implementing recycling programs; whereby, some facilities have cut operational costs by thousands of dollars through recycling. Regardless of business size, commercial recycling has a direct cost savings by lowering the operating cost of disposing of waste. Want to know how? Well, first of all, removing recyclable materials from your garbage container decreases the volume of trash, lowering your costs by reducing the number, size and collection frequency of those containers.
Ok, so how do you make recycling a part of your business? At Tervis, for example, every single employee from the production floor to the executive suite is responsible for emptying their own garbage and recycling containers. This helps make every employee more conscientious of what they are throwing away and what they are recycling. Through their Returnable Packaging Program, a majority of all incoming raw materials are received in returnable cardboard packaging. After usage is broken down to a flat state it is sent back to the suppliers to be reused. This cycle reuses about a ton of returnable packaging each work day.
This past July, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection recognized Tervis for reaching a recycling rate of 56 percent through the Single Stream Recycling Program. The Department developed the Recycling Recognition Program to encourage private businesses, institutions, schools, public organizations and citizens to increase recycling in an effort to reach the Florida Legislature’s recycling goal of 75 percent by the year 2020.
For Florida to meet the 75 percent goal, it is critical that both the commercial sector and residential sectors increase their recycling rates. Florida can’t get to 75 percent by just doing a good job with recycling in our homes. Businesses, institutions, schools and other organizations need to do better too because currently less than half of the commercial solid waste in Florida is being recycled and two thirds of our solid waste is from commercial entities.
Some common types of municipal solid waste include newspapers, office paper, glass, plastic bottles and food waste. The most recent data shows the commercial sector’s recycling rate is at roughly 44 percent; overall, Florida has about a 43 percent recycling rate.
If your private businesses or institution would like to be recognized, submit your recycling and disposal data into Re-TRAC, the Florida DEP Business Recycling Tracking Tool.