Recycling in the Workplace
What do a restaurant, paper mill, and sports arena all have in common? When it comes to the environment, they all have the capability to recycle or utilize used materials. Whether you are a small business or a large-scale industry, there is a recycling plan that is right for you. Once in place, a recycling plan can save thousands of dollars in energy and prevent materials from entering our landfills. Not only can you pat yourself on the back for doing something beneficial for the environment, but you are also supporting a dynamic industry that benefits the economy.
Did you know that the carpet industry is clamoring for recycled plastic bottles in the form of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to make luxury carpet? Or that fibers from textile mills can be salvaged and traded in waste exchanges?
The following links and resources may prove helpful in improving your business practices regarding the environment. No matter your industry, whether mechanical, textile, restaurant, or office, there are resources just for you! Used products, such as batteries, cell phones, plastic, paper, used oil, oil filters, bottles, or printer cartridges, are all ready to be recycled or reused.
- Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) is a national effort to conserve natural resources and energy by managing materials more efficiently. The RCC seeks partnerships with industry to pursue resource conservation initiatives.
- WasteWise is a flexible EPA program that allows partners to design their own waste reduction programs tailored to their needs.
- For information on electronics recycling, look at EPA Region 4’s eCycling electronics program or EPA’s Plug-in to eCycling program.
- Jobs Through Recycling provides information on market development for state and local officials, sources of technical and financial assistance for recycling businesses, and information on the economic benefits of recycling.
- For access to key findings regarding the impact of recycling in the U.S. look at EPA’s National Recycling Economic Information Study.
- Market directory and waste exchanges by state.
- Planning a meeting? Here’s an easy checklist on how to make it a green gathering.
- EPA’s Construction and Demolition Debris Web site provides a listing of recycling resources for non-hazardous construction debris by type.
State / Regional Resources:
- State and local recycling representatives can help with local recyling programs and issues.
- Georgia’s Sustainable Office Toolkit offers businesses the means to continually improve operations.
- Mississippi’s Office Recycling Program works to reduce the amount of office materials going to the landfill and to increase the amount of materials recycled.
- North Carolina’s Division of Pollution Prevention offers on-site pollution prevention evaluations for small and large businesses.
- South Carolina’s Business Recycling Assistance Program helps South Carolina businesses save money and reduce waste.
- South East Recycling Development Council works to unite industry professionals, government agencies, and individuals engaged in the business of recycling.
- Southern Waste Information eXchange is a clearinghouse and repository for businesses and government agencies looking for information regarding recycling and solid waste.
Non-Profit / Other Resources:
- Earth 911 Business focuses on helping businesses reduce waste, create a comprehensive waste reduction plan, and implement a recycling program.
- Waste reduction is one of Keep America Beautiful’s top priorities.
- Information about can and bottle recycling is provided by America’s Beverage Companies.
- Container Recycling Institute is a source for information on all types of container recycling.
- American Plastics Council is a source for help regarding plastic recycling opportunities and programs.
- Steel Recycling Institute is a source for information regarding steel recycling opportunities.
- Paper Industry Association Council (PIAC) serves as a source for information on paper recycling opportunities.
- National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) is a source for information on the vast array of electronics recycling.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP):
- EPA’s guide to EPP includes “green” purchasing information, a background on environmentally preferable purchasing, and case studies.
- EPA comprehensive procurement guidelines are part of the government’s “buy-recycled” program.
Economic Information / Studies: