Recycling: A Sound Business Practice

Tue, Feb 24, 2009

Energy Reduction

Recycling – whose business is it? Government, industry, households, schools all can play crucial role in keeping our communities clean through recycling. Recycling is a good example of successful green practice. Recovering and reusing materials result in substantial environmental benefits. If managed well, the benefits of recycling can outweigh its cost.

The following are some examples of how businesses in America have successfully recycled and reused waste. At the same time many have created an additional stream of revenue through recycling.

  • The aerospace company, The Boeing Co., made $60 million last year through recycling. This included selling scrap metal and hawking used drill bits, safety glasses, wood containers and other excess goods at its six surplus stores in three states.
  • How much money could you possibly save by reducing paper waste? Aid Association for Lutherans saves $30,000 per year. How? By simply reducing the use of paper in cafeteria with reusable & washable ceramic plates & coffee cups, composting yard waste and sending cafeteria grease & cooking oils to rendering firms.
  • A change in lifestyle at a manufacturing firm, Placon Corporation, saved $120,000 per year. This came at a cost of $124,500 spent on innovative product design that uses less materials and absolute minimum amount of plastic, wider assortment of rolls of plastic, 30%-100% recycling plastic usage in its products, etc.
  • Cooper Wiring Devices, an electric manufacturing company, generates $5000 per year in revenue by selling pallets to a recycling company. It also generated additional savings by using mulch made from breaking & chipping pallets. Also, it avoids disposal costs of approximately $12,250 per year on corrugated cardboard. It achieves this saving by flattening and consolidating approximately 50 tons of corrugated cardboard for recycling every year.
  • Beer brewer & distributor, Brooklyn Brewery, saves more than $25,000 per year by recycling corrugated cardboard and stretch film plastic.
  • By selling rubber foam to a recycler for $0.02 per pound, Premier Brands of America – a foot & shoe-care products manufacturer – in New York, saves $1200 in disposal costs and earns more than $4000 in revenue every year.
  • Schumacher Electric Corporation saves $$ on corrugated material purchase and waste. It manufactures corrugated packaging from the incoming cartons and saves $60,000 per year. In this process it also reduces production of up to 70% of the baled corrugated for recycling.
  • Ferodo America, a brake blocks manufacturer, reuses – rejects, dust and flyaways – and reaps financial benefits. By investing $475,000 in a recycling system, Ferodo is able to reuse materials like rejected brakes, dust & flyaways. This recycling saves Ferodo $950,000 per year on raw materials and eliminates 1,150 tons of waste.
  • American Electric Power Company made a new stream of income by selling ash required for the production of cement. In 1992, it generated $755,000 from ash sales and avoided $1,910,000 in landfill costs. About 95% of fly ash produced at its Rockport plant was used for paving highways, runway expansion and other construction projects.
  • A paperless office – does it make sense? Not literally no paper but with minimal paper use Millipore Corporation expects to reduce costs of purchasing office paper through the use of paperless technologies. Electronic version of its quarterly financial reports alone could save $25,000 per year eliminating 60,000 printed copies. Some of its programs for reducing use of paper include email for communication, electronic document control system, online catalog, and double-sided copying.

It can be deduced from the above stories that recycling is a highly effective strategy for reducing waste. Existed technologies can be used to maximize economic, environmental and societal benefits of recycling.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. kondo Says:

    No one in my office recycles. We did find out though that some local charities will collect your cans, as they get dollars for them. I think our cans are collected by the local hospital. They give us a box to put the cans into and then pick them up every few weeks. People in the office are very good about bringing their cans in since they feel good to help the charity.

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