Reducing Waste At Retail Stores
Retail is an profit-driven industry based on consumer demand and the managing of indirect and direct costs. Retail managers and business owners are constantly looking at ways to eliminate unnecessary expenses. Waste handling is a controllable direct cost that all retail stores should work to reduce and help their bottom line. Not only will waste reduction at retail stores save them money, it will help to promote them as environmentally businesses focused on sustainability.
There is no doubt that most retail stores generate a lot of waste, much of what is recyclable materials. Excessive packaging including corrugated cardboard, shrink wrap, and paper can all be efficiently reduced and recycled. Recycling in a retail environment is very similar to recycling in our homes, schools, or other businesses. The same guidelines apply for the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. A huge upside to improving the recycling program at your retail business is that you will likely reduce your business’ trash handling costs and increase profitability.
Ways Retailers Can Reduce Waste
- Conduct A Waste Audit Or Needs Assessment – Harmony Enterprises is glad to have our sales team help you with this. As part of this service, they will determine your how material by-products flow through your operations, which ones can be recycled versus which ones need to be disposed of, and how to optimize both parts of your operation. Often times, they can also help you calculate a basic ROI on any equipment investment toward the streamlining of your waste and recycling.
- Reduce Unnecessary Packaging – When possible, ask your vendors to reduce bulky packaging on the products you sell. You could also encourage the use of packaging that is reusable or made with recyclable materials. Find ways to repurpose and reuse some of this packaging like smaller boxes, bubble wrap, etc. Bale the rest and sell it as a commodity to recyclers.
- Donate To Charity – Merchandise that may be slightly damaged or outdated can be donated to an organization or charity in need instead of thrown in the trash. Engage your customers to do the same, maybe in a bring one, buy one type promotion!
Recycling Bins/Compactors – Place recycling bins inside your store, in the break room, or outside near the entrance to give customers and employees the opportunity to throw their waste into a recycling can instead of just the trash can. Place automatic compactors in lieu of trash cans to help reduce the waste footprint of customer trash, while saving on labor for other more important tasks in your store. Having no-touch trash solutions in customer facing areas helps to improve the shopping experience.
- Recycle By-Products With A Baler – Invest in a cardboard baler for your stockroom so your easily bale your own cardboard or other recyclables, like shrink wrap as merchandise comes in. Even in a smaller stockroom, space saving vertical balers will help you to reduce the size of your recyclables so it can be efficiently stored until it is picked up or transported to your recycler.
- Compact Your Waste – For materials that cannot be recycled, implement the use of a commercial waste compactor at your location. These larger stationary or self-contained compactors can handle wet, dry, and even food waste. They can hold trash collected in trash bins or smaller compactors. The benefits of compactors are many, including a reduction in the waste footprint at your location and in the landfill, reduced costs due to less frequent trash hauling, safer work areas, reduced fire hazards, and the reduction of odor, vermin, and pilferage at your retail business site.
- Use Recyclable Materials – Use, purchase, and promote products that are made with recycled materials. Your customers who are environmentally-conscious will appreciate having a green alternative to buy from you.
- Digital Marketing – Use digital marketing to reduce paper waste. For instance, instead of printing wasteful catalogs, newsletters, or fancy packaging, opt for online catalogs, email newsletters, and mobile marketing.
Contact Harmony Today!
If you would like to learn more about how to conduct a waste audit, or how to get a free quote or site review from Harmony, call us at (507) 886-6666. Our skilled and professional sales team will use their proven process to help ensure that you are proposed the right waste or recycling equipment from our wide range of baler and compactor solutions. Contact Harmony today!