Some city and state governments are taking steps to make recycling for businesses mandatory. In fact, the State of California has had a Mandatory Commercial Recycling Law in place since July 1, 2012 through CalRecycle. With commercial businesses generating the greatest amount of waste and recycling less than people do in their homes, businesses can make a significant impact in reducing the amount of trash going to the landfill.
The City of Seattle has recently proposed to require commercial customers in the city to add glass, aluminum, tin and plastic to the paper and cardboard that they already recycle. The City of Seattle is reminding business owners that it costs more to haul garbage then it does to recycle. Their estimates gave examples of a small restaurant saving as much as $186 a month on their solid-waste bill and a medium retailer saving up to $784 a month.
Commercial Recycling Challenges
Commercial businesses who step up their recycling efforts will have some challenges at first, such as staff and customer training, and getting recycling equipment and supplies to accommodate their recycling needs. For instance, in fast food restaurants and malls, it can be a challenge to get customers to put their recyclables in the recycling bin instead of the trash. Company-wide education and outreach is important so that the staff not only understand “Why” the new recycling initiatives are important, but also “How” to make recycling part of the day-to-day tasks and goals. Some businesses have limited space for balers or even recycling bins, but space-saving recycling equipment and supplies are available. Often, businesses find that gathering a Recycling Team to head up the efforts is a great place to start.
What do you think of mandatory commercial recycling? Are there any commercial recycling requirements in your area?