America is a disposable society
According to a Fortune Magazine article in November 2013, American cities are scrambling to deal with the mounting piles of garbage.
Alarming statistics support this statement:
- In 2011, we generated 250 million tons of garbage, nearly double the amount of 1970.
- The number of landfills over the same period dropped from 20,000 to 1,900.
- Cities have privatized trash hauling, leading to higher dumping fees.
- The average cost of dumping is $44 a ton compared with $8.20 in 1985.
- Another way to look at # 4 is we waste about $7 billion a year on waste.
Currently we have a growing population faced with limits of resources from the environment. We understand that our society and industrial systems must begin to mimic nature and move from being primarily linear to being cyclical. Each material must be used as efficiently as possible and must be chosen so that it may either return safely to a cycle within the environment or remain viable in the industrial cycle.
The vision of Zero Waste can be seen as a solution to these needs. Zero solid waste, zero hazardous waste, zero toxic emissions, zero material waste, zero energy waste and zero waste of human resources will protect the environment and lead to a much more productive, efficient, and sustainable future. The use of an endpoint goal of “zero” recognizes that simple making small steps without a goal may not achieve a sustainable future while use of a clear defined goal will lead to more rapid innovative improvements.
Zero Waste promotes not only reuse and recycling, but also, and more importantly, promotes prevention – designs that consider the entire product life cycle. These new designs will strive for reduced materials use, use of recycled materials, use of more benign materials, longer product lives, repairability, and ease of disassembly at end of life.
A Zero Waste strategy is a sound business tool that, when integrated into business processes, provides an easy to understand stretch goal that can lead to innovative ways to identify, prevent and reduce wastes of all kinds. It strongly supports sustainability by protecting the environment, reducing costs and producing additional jobs in the management and handling of wastes back into the industrial cycle. A Zero Waste strategy may be applied to businesses, communities, industrial sectors, schools and homes.
Reduce the cost of your Portfolios recycling program
A distinct component of a portfolio’s waste program is its recycling initiative. You will need expert guidance and management of corporate recycling programs to deliver savings in both time and money.
Your solution for recycling management needs to include a strategy for each of these areas:
- program design and implementation
- contract management
- invoice processing/auditing
- service optimization
- centralized support / vendor management
Implementing your Corporate Recycling Program
If your organization does not yet recycle, you will need guidance for designing and implementing your program. Beneath the marketing cloud of ‘going green’ with recycling lies a rugged terrain of real-world business challenges. Vendor service capabilities, geographic footprint, site-specific design limitations, education and cost-of-service are just a few common issues that need to be navigated by businesses looking to implement a corporate recycling program.
An increasing number of organizations today report their sustainability efforts to various stakeholders such as investors, residents or the general public. The data we collect through managing your contracts and recycling invoices allows us to gather and report such data. Sustainability reports should provide total recycling tonnage and the percentage of total waste that has been diverted from the waste stream due to recycling.