Small Business Brief

Business Advice

Commercial Waste Management: 5 Ways to Reduce Waste at Your Business

Isn’t being green more expensive than being wasteful? Back in the old days, it was more cost-effective to prioritize speed and convenience over correct commercial waste management. However, thanks to the cost of fuel increasing prices across the board, we now live in an age where saving on waste is the most cost-effective way to operate. Here are five ways to reduce the waste your business produces.

1. Outsource More

If you outsource, not only will you reduce the amount of waste in your own company, you may reduce the amount of waste produced overall.

For example, your company has delicate metal works that require cleaning with solvents and ultrasonic sound. Doing it in small batches on-site will be more wasteful than if they are done in bulk with a larger company that also cleans other people’s metal works. Both the amount of energy and cleaning fluid used would be reduced and would be more efficient.

Just remember to outsource into your own country otherwise the environmental savings are lost. These days you can save more money outsourcing to your own country rather than to another country (with the exception of sweatshops and customer support call centers).

2. Recycle More

The problem with recycling is that you often have to pay people to pick up your recycling the same way they pick up your rubbish. For example, you could reduce your waste by 50% and have these waste guys pick it up, and then have to pay other waste-removal companies to pick up your recycling.

Nevertheless, if you wish to reduce the amount you are throwing into your waste dumpsters, then recycling is going to reduce your waste output quite a bit in many cases and will save money in some cases.

3. Return To Sender

If you cannot get people to buy your waste, then return it to the sender. The most common example is boxes that deliver bulk-bought goods. Instead of recycling or selling on the cardboard themselves, they would send it back in the delivery trucks for no extra fee. The delivery truck would unload dollies/trolleys full of boxed goods and return with cages/dollies full of cardboard for recycling/selling.

4. Re-Use Intelligently

It is baffling why some offices are still giving out paper cups for water coolers. Your staff probably have their own coffee cups and/or tea mugs, so is it so crazy that they have their own glasses too? After all, a glass enables them to take the drink back to their desks. Explore the many ways you can re-use items in your business to reduce waste.

5. Commercial Waste Management

Amend staff policy so that your employees know what is acceptable and what is not. The misuse of business property is rarely done out of malice; it is usually done out of convenience or laziness. Install new rules and police them so that waste is not created needlessly.

Save Money And Waste Less

Reducing waste shouldn’t just be about being green. It should be about saving money, be it saving money on goods, commercial waste management, or on staff hours through more efficient operation. Make it clear to each department that saving on needless wastage will help stretch their department budgets and will earn kudos from you.

Still hungry for useful tips and advice for small businesses, then take a read of some of the other posts on