International food producer Hormel Foods Corporation recently announced that in calendar year 2013 the company successfully reduced its overall generated solid waste that needed to be disposed of in regional landfills by more than one thousand tons. Additionally, the company was also able to reduce its total weight of required product packaging – including cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum – by over four and a half million pounds.
Hormel, which has its corporate headquarters in Austin, Minnesota, stated that the company has now attained close to eighty one percent of its corporate sustainability strategic goals. Those goals, which have a timeline leading to completion in 2020, include reducing the total amount of waste sent to landfills by three thousand three hundred tons. This amount would represent an overall waste reduction of ten percent. Company representatives say the current waste diversion and recycling figures indicate that the goal may be attained earlier than anticipated.
The company’s pounds per ton of total solid waste was slightly over twenty four pounds in 2013 which was a slight improvement over the prior year. In addition, the reduction in product packaging comprises close to thirty five percent of the total waste reduction goal.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Waste reduction can be more than simply re-using, recycling, donating and composting. If your business is responsible for product packaging, or provides packaging to customers who visit your location, the less materials you use to securely pack your items, the less waste you’ll produce and the more money you’ll save. Take a look at the bags, containers, boxes, and other materials you currently use and see if greener, more environmentally friendly alternatives are available. New packaging solutions are being developed every year and you might be surprised by what you can find!
The Midwest United States might be cold and covered in snow this winter, but two General Motors distribution facilities are no longer covering regional landfills with material waste any more.
GM distribution facilities in Chicago, Illinois and Hudson, Wisconsin have recently reached their environmental sustainability goals of attaining a status of being landfill-free, meaning that all waste generated daily is recycled, reused or used for energy conversion.
The two facilities are used primarily for customer service and help to facilitate the delivery of GM parts to car dealerships throughout the country. The two locations are responsible for processing thousands of shipments annually, so it was essential to develop a strategy to recycle and re-use the cardboard shipping materials and wood pallet waste that accumulated on a daily basis.
The Chicago facility estimated that it process over twenty five tons of waste cardboard every year – that total weight is slightly more than twenty automobiles! The financial cost of disposing of that much waste in a landfill is also significant so the switch to recycling not only reduces disposal fees but also earns GM’s recycling partners one hundred dollars for each ton of cardboard.
The local recycling partners are responsible for the recyclables, but employees at all levels of the organization are responsible for achieving waste reduction success. GM’s goal is to have all of its one hundred and twenty five facilities be landfill-free by 2020.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, it pays to have a strategic plan in place when it comes to recycling. Chart you progress one month at a time and develop your ideas as you go along. In no time you’ll be saving green while “going green”!
It’s taken close to nine years, but the Louisiana city of New Orleans is now officially re-launching curbside recycling services for both residents and businesses living and operating in the Central Business District and French Quarter of the city.
The waste recycling services will be available for all residents and small businesses in those neighborhoods starting at the end of January, 2014. It is estimated that over four thousand residential and business locations will be eligible for the curbside recycling pick-ups. All recycling services are expected to happen on a weekly schedule for those in the target neighborhoods. Waste materials that will be accepted for recycling include all forms of paper, paperboard and cardboard, plastic beverage and food containers, and metal containers and cans.
Recycling services to these areas have been suspended since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. The Sanitation Department for the city is currently distributing eighteen-gallon size bins to residents and businesses at no additional cost. While these recycling bins are slightly smaller than those used in other neighborhoods the city hopes they will be easier to use and store for businesses and homes with limited space.
Curbside recycling services are currently available in other neighborhoods of the city for residential properties and small businesses. Residents in the historic French Quarter and Central Business District had been lobbying local officials that inclusion of their neighborhoods were necessary components to help the area achieve its municipal sustainability goals.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether it’s your town or business, it’s important to include everyone in your waste disposal and recycling plans. Every person, no matter where they’re located, is going to generate trash – and if you’re not making an effort to increase recycling and re-use, that’s money and profit coming out of your bottom line!
In Alabama, students at Auburn University recycled more than fifteen tons of waste paper and cardboard after “Move-In Mania 2013”, the weekend when students return to campus and residence halls for the start of the fall semester.
Recycling and trash disposal units were provided in the four residence areas to simplify the recycling and garbage collection process for both students and their parents. The easy to access locations were cited as a key reason why over thirty thousand pounds of cardboard was collected.
The National Retail Federation estimates that a little over eight hundred dollars was spent this fall on supplies needed by college students for both the classroom and their dormitory or apartment. Many of these items are boxed in cardboard and therefore the packaging can be recycled.
The University also collects for recycling paper, plastic bottles with No. 1 and No. 2 designations, and steel and aluminum cans. The overall recycling rate compared to trash generated for the entire weekend was twenty percent.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Are you making it easy for your employees to recycle their waste materials like paper, cardboard, cans, and plastic bottles? Having easy to access and well marked receptacles makes a big difference. If your recycling rate is lower than you’d like, take a look at the placement of your recycling bins – adding a few more or changing their location could make a big difference!
Popular computer manufacturer, Dell Inc has.recently announced that it has set a corporate goal of achieving one hundred percent waste-free packaging by the year 2020.
Currently a little more than fifty percent of Dell’s packaging comes from sustainable materials and is able to be recycled. As part of the 2020 strategic packaging plan, Dell is aiming to have all packing materials be either recyclable or compostable and made of recycled materials.
Dell hopes to achieve this by using wheat straw, a sustainable material, as a component in the cardboard boxes it uses to package laptops and computer systems. Beginning in The new boxes will contain fifteen percent straw, with the remainder of the materials coming from recycled fiber.
Using even fifteen percent straw will recent the company’s carbon footprint significantly.
In addition, the company last year cut over twenty million pounds of packing material by reducing and redesigning its packaging. Saving the company money while reducing the amount of waste generated by consumers purchasing Dell products.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: When was the last time your business took at look at look at how you handling packaging? What kinds of materials are your using to ship or deliver merchandise and how much packaging are you using? There are so many alternatives that are not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly. Take a look at your options and you might finding yourself saving “green” with every order!
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that the total weight of all municipal solid waste generated and disposed of in the USA remained constant for the year 2011, compared to 2010, but that the country’s rate of recycling moved upward, improving over the prior year.
The EPA reported that Americans generated over two hundred and fifty million tons of solid waste in 2011, a near identical amount to 2010. Of that total amount of waste, almost eighty seven million tons, or 34.7% was recycled or composted. The national recycling rate for 2010 was 34.0%.
The total waste generated per person was almost four and one half pounds per day, down from 2010.
The EPA also provides recycling rates for various waste materials. Newspapers and paper materials have a recycling rate of almost seventy three percent. Aluminum cans are recycled at close to fifty five percent and glass containers and PET plastics are recycled at thirty four percent and twenty nine percent respectively. The biggest year over year recycling gains were seen by aluminum cans and tires due to part to their high demand on the manufacturing market.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Even small improvements in your businesses recycling rate or waste disposal rate can result in savings when you compare year to year. The important thing is to track your before and after to see what works and what doesn’t. Every company has unique waste disposal and recycling needs so if you want to save money, you need to do what’s right for your business sector!
The United States Postal Service was recently praised for waste recycling and reduction from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its involvement in the Federal Green Challenge, a program launched to reduce the environmental impact of federal agencies.
Ten post office regions were issued awards for diversion and recycling programs. The offices were: Albany, New York, District; Allentown, Pennsylvania, Airport Branch Post Office; Anchorage, Alaska, Processing and Distribution Center; Connecticut Valley District; Fort Myers, Florida, Processing and Distribution Center; Honolulu, Hawaii, Processing and Distribution Center; Little Rock, Arkansas, Processing and Distribution Center; Mid-Hudson, New York, Processing and Distribution Center; Northern New Jersey District; and Topeka, Kansas, Material Distribution Center.
In 2012, the postal service increased its recycling rate eighteen percent from the prior year, beating its goal of a five percent increase. The recycling rate for the entire agency was forty eight percent for the year.
The eight hundred and fifty participating postal services locations across the country helping to save more than fifty two million dollars in 2012 by reducing water and energy use and recycling waste materials.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: What is your local post office and government offices doing to reduce material waste and increase recycling? Whether it’s recycling bins for paper and cardboard or carefully monitoring how much trash is disposed of weekly, there are plenty of ways to go green and save green!
The northwestern state of Washington has announced that it has reached a milestone in its recycling efforts.
During the year 2011, Washington’s recycling rate exceeded fifty percent for the first time ever. The figures were released to the public from the Department of Ecology for Washington in late 2012.
The comprehensive waste diversion rate, which also factors in recycling, energy recovery, and product re-use, increased from fifty four percent in 2010 to fifty seven percent in 2011.
Residents and businesses recycled over one hundred and eight six thousand tons of material waste more than in the previous year, which resulted in a four percent increase. At the same time, landfill use decreased, as four percent less waste material was disposed of.
The state estimates that recyclables collection is over three and a half pounds per person per day. The individual amount is the highest ever for the state since it began measuring recycling efforts in 1986.
A spokesperson from the Department of Ecology said that much of the improvement in the recycling rate can be attributed to increased rates for cardboard, metals, newspapers, and e-waste. With metals recycling seeing the largest increases.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’ve set a recycling and waste reduction plan for your business, how are you keeping track of your financial and environmental successes? Making small changes and monitoring the results can help you achieve the best balance of saving money and saving the environment!
NextLife Enterprise, a resin manufacturer and plastics recycler is contributing to jobs growth and green-friendly economic development by opening a new recycling facility in Rogers, Arkansas that will expand the company’s reach beyond the recycling of plastic material waste. The new plant currently has three sorting, shredding and baling lines and employs seventy people.
The facility will also process metal, aluminum, corrugated cardboard, and glass. Only twenty-five percent of the waste material recycled will be plastics, but that total amount is expected to be close to sixty millions pounds annually. Right now, the new plant is handling roughly one million pounds of waste material per week, but full production levels are expected for next year.
The new facility and increased reach of the materials recycled and recovered was something NextLife clients and consumers had been asking for. To meet customer needs, partnerships have been formed to handle special recycling concerns such as child safety seats and household appliances. The company goal for the new plant is to be a full-service material waste to recovery solution that handles each step of the recycling and reuse process for their customers.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: As more business and consumers embrace material waste recycling, more economic growth and job opportunities are created. What can your business do to expand in this in-demand field?
Major brands such as Pepperidge Farm and Starbucks are implementing packaging reductions and recycling programs and as way to illustrate to consumers that they are taking environmental sustainability seriously and incorporating the importance of “going green” in their corporate missions and employee communications.
Campbell Soup Corporation of Camden, New Jersey is the parent company of Pepperidge Farms and it has set a goals of cutting one hundred million pounds of packaging from its product line by the year 2020.
In working toward this goal, Pepperidge Farm recently redesigned and reduced the amount of plastic used in its packages for Goldfish and Deli Flats by sixty five percent. The new design won the company the DuPont Packaging Award for Excellence in the category of Waste Reduction and Innovation. Success has also been seen in moving to lightweight bottles for the V8 juice drinks brand.
Starbucks Coffee is currently working on addressing its corporate goal of making their beverage cups recyclable by 2015 and ensuring that all locations have access to adequate recycling opportunities and providing the infrastructure to ensure success.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re a big, international company or a small, local business, setting environmental sustainability goals and identifying areas that can be improved upon, are a great way to help you “go green” while saving green!