The package transportation company Federal Express didn’t create its waste recycling program overnight, but the business has shown how profits can result from reducing the amount of materials sent to landfills. The company currently estimates that it earns ten dollars for every one spent on recycling or recyclable products.
The company has indicated that they have recycled over ninety three million pounds of waste material since recycling operations began in 2006. Last year alone, close to fifty million pounds of materials were recycled.
In 2004, the company realized that waste recycling and environmental sustainability were concepts that weren’t going to fade away and that they need to start planning how to address them and incorporate them into the business model. The now successful plan started with very humble beginnings: two balers that were part of a vendor’s “lease-to-buy” offer. Getting the waste materials to a central recycling location was simple, given FedEx’s hauling networks throughout the nation.
Despite the success, the company continues to look for way to be more sustainable. One recent change involves swapping out packing material such as peanuts and plastic air “pillows” for reused shredded cardboard shred that originates from the FedEx recycling center. That change satisfied customers demand and continues to save the company money.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: From humble beginnings grow great change! If your business is new to recycling, take a page from FedEx’s play book and start small. Control your costs, monitor growth, and take advantage of new recycling and reuse opportunities when they arise. You’ll be surprised what can be accomplished over time!