Recycling Training for EmployeesKey to Your Business Recycling Program’s Success
With many businesses wrapping up their fiscal year end in December, income, profits, and costs associated with excess inventory is a hot topic. The choice to recycle slow moving inventory or excess packaging like cardboard, film, totes, etc… can create an income source for some companies rather than carrying the costs into the new year.
Greenpath offers commercial recycling, corporate sustainability, and zero waste management solutions to help businesses reduce their waste sent to landfills, increase revenue with recycling, and explore re-use opportunities with boxes, packaging, and other material handling products.
Greenpath Enterprises has partnered with Cuipo.org, an environmental conservation and lifestyle brand, to leverage our US recycling efforts to directly help preserve prime rainforest around the globe. We will be donating recovered recycling revenue to support this cause and prevent further deforestation. Greenpath helps businesses reduce and divert waste created from their operations from being sent to the landfill. As a direct business recycler, processor and manufacturer, Greenpath converts recyclable resources into new finished products. In addition to recycling, we help companies explore alternative reuse opportunities for their packaging and can implement closed loop and zero waste programs.
Sustainability is a driving factor for many companies, however understanding how to measure and achieve sustainability has proven to be extremely complex. In 1994 John Elkington coined the phrase “people, planet, profit” at SustainAbility. This concept of the triple bottom line is now found in nearly all discussions of corporate sustainability. And while the newly commissioned sustainability executive will proudly tout their implementation of “people, planet, profit; I can’t help but feel they are missing the real solution.
The triple bottom line follows the belief that a business should account for and take inventory of environmental impacts and social impacts while maximizing financial gains. Inherently there is a constant struggle to justify the financial costs of environmentally sustainable solutions, and improving the community comes at a price as well. Inevitably all sustainability managers find themselves with ideas and solutions to improve people and planet, but without justification to implement these solutions because of the impact on profit.
The problem is that we need a fundamental shift in the understanding of the purpose of business and what “people, planet, profit” really means. Only then can these three aspects work together seamlessly.
Some believe the purpose of business is to make money – profit. The butcher makes money selling meat, the chef makes money cooking meals and the builder makes money buying houses. While each of these businesses could make a profit, this is not the purpose of business. If consumers don’t want meat, cooked meals or new homes, those businesses will never survive. The only way a business remains is if it provides a value to the community.
Obviously these are simplistic examples, but the overall perspective is the same. The purpose of business is to provide value. Value to the people, value to the planet.
Profit on the other hand is not a value provided. Profit is what you get in exchange.
In a truly sustainable business, “people, planet, profit” is not a triple bottom line – it is a math equation and it looks like this:
People + Planet = Profit
The profit is an inherent result of providing value to the people, value to the planet. In a sustainable business, profit should never exceed value, nor should it be less.
Perhaps the solution to the bottom line is simply creating a balance between the value you provide to people and planet, and the value you receive in return as profit?
Written by Teresa Clark. Teresa Clark is the VP of Product Development at ENSO Plastics, you can find contact information for ENSO Plastics by visiting our Contact page here on this site or by visiting www.ensoplastics.com
When our consultants review existing commercial recycling programs, they often come across light and loosely baled material. Increasing the weight and uniformity of bales can often be the low hanging fruit towards a successful commercial recycling program. Bale density can play a major factor in the overall profitability with business recycling. Sometimes this can be due to equipment issues, but more often it can be largely improved with a few helpful tricks of the trade.
Here are some quick tips for making heavy bales;
– If baling cardboard, flatten boxes prior to loading in baler and spread boxes out evenly inside bale chamber.
– When loading initial material for a new bale, do not load to the top. Partially fill chamber to about only 1/3 of its capacity. This will produce a good base and tight compaction for the bottom of bale to build on. Repeat for first 2-3 cycles.
– When not loading material, manually stop the platten at its lowest position so it is constantly pressing down the material in chamber and keeping the base of the bale tightly compacted. Many grades of recyclables will expand, so keeping the baler ram in the down position will keep material compressed.
– When bale is full, make sure platten is depressed all the way down prior to opening door and using wire ties.
– Use baling wire in all available wire slots. Usually at least 5-6 wires per bale. Not using a sufficient amount of baling wire will allow the bale to expand and/or prevent from being a tight rectangular shape.
These are just a few tips assuming your baler is in good condition and does not need service. If these tips do not work, we suggest scheduling a maintenance call to further diagnose.
Logistics has a huge impact on recycling so the heavier the bale, the less impact that freight costs will impact your overall recovered value. Additionally, heavy bales take up less space in a warehouse to store and reduce associated labor costs with handling material. Heavy bales are very important for an effective recycling program. This will lower your costs and increase the value of your material.
Greenpath offers free waste audits and will provide an analysis of your existing business recycling program.
One of the most frustrating things our receiving personnel experiences is when they open a recycling trailer and the material is scattered across the floor. Not only does this require a substantial amount of extra labor but often the recyclables are contaminated and their typical value and the ability to reprocess has been compromised. The initial reaction could be blame the driver for taking a sharp turn or driving too fast but often this can be avoided with a few extra steps when loading recycled materials.
1. Baled Recyclables – Make sure bales are tightly compacted with at least 5 baling wires.
2. Gaylords – Strap down boxes to pallet to secure.
3. Liners – Use gaylord liners that are long enough to cover material to avoid cross contamination during transport and handling.
4. Pallets – Avoid broken pallets as material will fall off and spill during transit.
5. Double Stacking – When stacking recyclables, put heavier materials on the bottom row and the top rows of similar or smaller shape. i.e., do not load bales on top of gaylords or gaylords on top of bales.
6. Used Boxes – Stretch wrap used packaging or other loosely stacked materials.
7. Secure the load – Ask driver to use load locks to avoid pallets and material shifting in transit.
These are just a few common tips. Our recycling consultants or logistics personnel can assist with specific recycling guidelines to help secure material and ensure the best value is maintained for your business.
Welcome to our updated site! We’ve added a ton of content, made the code mobile friendly, and added new sections and new images.
It still may have some bugs for a few days, so please excuse our dust. If you see anything wrong, please let us know and we’ll fix it as soon as we can.
Thank you, and let us know what you think!
Increase profits in five simple ways with better waste management
Americans alone are accountable for producing 220 million tons of waste, a year. This number exceeds that of any other country. Waste management is the only solution to this pressing issue. Today, more than 20 different types of industry are involved in waste management. The various phases of waste management comprise collecting, transporting, disposing, recycling and regulating waste.
Business owners and managers continuously seek to make the workplace more profitable. Waste management can provide them with a booming business opportunity. It also plays a pivotal role in the economy, since it prevents more waste generation, aids reuse, recycle and energy restoration. The way we collect and handle waste can lead to either increased recycling or an inefficient system where recyclable waste ends up in landfills or is incinerated. In the latter case, it will eventually result in harmful environmental impacts and notable economic losses.
Mentioned below are five ways to increase profits with better waste management:
- From waste to resources: The market needs to be encouraged to reuse. In a circular economy, materials that can be recycled are infused back into the market as new raw materials. These reused products are termed as ’secondary raw materials’, and they can be traded just like primary raw materials sourced from traditional extractive resources. The increase of non-toxic material cycles and enhanced tracking of chemicals of concern, will aid recycling and improve the uptake of secondary raw materials.
- Coherent strategy and policies: These are needed to allow for the recycling, re-use and repair of primary materials. Governments, through national waste management programs, should promote waste prevention and minimization. They should also work towards development and execution of national strategies for waste management, which promote and prioritize reuse and recycling of waste. Thus, a well-established and well-financed waste management policy is crucial for dealing with waste in an efficient way.
- Economics of recycling: Nationwide, recycling has boosted the growth of an entire industry and produced jobs. The realization of increased monetary savings through recycling has drawn more people to it. Considerable profits can be achieved through avoiding disposal costs, reduced solid waste services and trading recyclable materials.
- Extracting energy from waste: Accurately dried and sorted waste can be turned into a potent and clean source of fuel for industrial processes. It can be used in power generation and cement kilns, thus enabling their parent companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Organic waste processing (Composting): Composting is the process of transforming organic waste into a stable product (compost) under controlled conditions. The demand for compost is huge, as it is a cheaper alternative to expensive inorganic fertilizers and is rich in essential minerals.
Some recycling or waste management companies promote free pickups for qualified businesses as a method to increase the perceived value of their services. As your parents or grandparents likley said at some point “Nothing is free”. This applies to the transportation of recyclables.
Business recycling and corporate sustainability programs can be profitable as well as good for the environment. It is important however to distinguish the value of the commodities from their associated costs in order to effectively manage. Commercial transportation can be very expensive with todays high fuel costs, labor, and maintenance. If a supplier is offered a “free pickup” it is typically because the value of the material exceeds the costs of transportation and handling. It is typically best to isolate the transportation to best understand all costs, revenue, and opportunities for improvement. The transportation costs can still be rolled into the recycling services offered, if preferred, but in order to understand the actual rabate value, it is best to isolate.
The value of commercial recyclables is heavily dependant on the location of the material. What may be a highly valuable recycling commodity, if delivered, might incur an expense if pickup service is needed. Freight can be costly and is an important consideration when designing a business recycling and sustainability program.
The value of commercial recycling rebates as it relates to location can further be impacted by the bulk density and volume. The heavier the payload, the less impact that transportation costs will impact the overall net recovered value. The heavier the recycled material, the less costly the freight. Proper recycling equipment and loading pattern are critical to success.
Greenpath Enterprises was recognized as one of largest recyclers in North America by Waste360 for 2016. The Waste360 Top 100 ranks the largest waste and recycling firms in North America based on revenues. The award is especially significant as the list is primarily made up of waste industry behemoths like Waste Management with revenues of close to $13 billion and Republic Services with revenues of $9.1 billion. Although the niche commercial recycling market pales in comparison to the overall waste industry, it is encouraging to see business recycling growing in size and recognition.
Greenpath is a vertically integrated recycler, plastic processor, and manufacturing focused on helping businesses reduce, recover, and convert their recyclable waste into reusable green products. They internally sort, wash, densify, grind, pelletize, extrude, and mold plastic film, bottles, and injected molded products at their processing facilities in California and Texas. Additional company information can be found at www.greenpathrecovery.com
Contact us today for your commercial recycling needs.