Home-based Businesses can do to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Home-based businesses are productive ventures. They produce a lot of valuable material, including valuable waste. But that waste doesn't have to go to disposal facilities--it can be recycled instead.
Besides recycling, home-based businesses can also reduce and reuse their waste. Producing less waste in the first place saves time and money--premiums for home-based businesses.
Depending on the type of business, a home-based business may produce a large quantity of one material. For instance, a graphic artist generates a lot of paper waste. Take a look around--if your business produces a lot of one type of waste, try to find a way to recycle it. The following tips offer ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Try integrating them into your home-based business.
Use the phone to communicate, rather than the fax machine, when possible. Consider adding a fax modem to your computer, which allows you to view faxes before printing them.
Use biodegradable packaging peanuts or recyclable paper such as shredded paper or newspaper as packaging material for shipping.
Reuse, When Possible
Reuse packing materials for outgoing shipments. If you can't use them, find someone who can. Donate or sell packaging materials (peanuts and corrugated boxes) to a local packaging company. Local shipping companies, such as the UPS Store, will accept donated packing peanuts for reuse.
Reuse office products, such as file folders, whenever possible.
Use ceramic mugs for coffee to eliminate use of disposable cups.
Write, print and copy on both sides of a piece of paper.
Save discarded paper for scratch paper.
Use refillable pencils and refillable ink pens.
Reink and reuse computer ribbons and recharge laser cartridges.
Grasscycle yard trimmings by leaving them on the lawn. Install a compost bin and compost leaves on-site or collect leaves for recycling. Tree and shrub clippings can be composted as well.
Recycle to Lower Disposal Costs and It’s the Law
Recycle all mixed paper including file folders, office paper, computer paper, unwanted mail, newspaper, magazines and telephone books. Take these materials to a recycling drop-off site, or ask a larger business that receives paper recycling collection services to accept your paper to mix with its own.
Recycle and reuse corrugated cardboard boxes. Ask your vendors to take back used corrugated cardboard containers for reuse.
Recycle aluminum cans and foil products, steel/tin cans, glass bottles and jars, and plastic bottles and containers generated in the kitchen.
Recycle scrap metal items such as appliances and metal office furniture.
Recycle button batteries (used in watches, hearing aids and calculators), Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd), and Lithium (Li) rechargeable batteries by taking them to a household hazardous waste or rechargeable battery collection site. Be sure to check whether you are using the kind of batteries that can be recycled.
Buy Recycled Products
Close the recycling loop by purchasing recycled office products, such as computer, copying, stationery and writing papers, paper towels, toilet tissue and toner cartridges.
Suggest to your clients the use of recycled paper for brochures and other printed pieces, if applicable. Depending on the nature of your business, you may suggest to your clients that they select and use other types of recycled materials, as well.
Many recycled content products now are comparable--and may even be less expensive when purchased in bulk--in price to their non-recycled counterparts.
If you have a concern or issue you wish to discuss or a success story you want to share, please contact us.
For more information:
Please contact the Montgomery County SORRT (Smart Organizations Reduce and Recycle Tons) Program at 3-1-1 (out-of-County: 240-777-0311, TTY: 240-773-3556).