What does sustainability mean to you as a business owner? Is it different than what it means for you as an individual? Do you find that practices you administer at home do not follow you into the workplace? As business owners we have an opportunity to define our workplace and our workplace habits. Recycling paper and other recyclables generated throughout the day is a no-brainer. Have a cardboard box or ‘waste’ bin designated for all paper products and another one for aluminium cans, glass, and plastic. Feel free to include cardboard items like cereal or granola bar boxes. According to the EPA, as a nation, we put about 34 million tons of paper and cardboard goes into the landfill each year. That is crazy!! Paper recycling has been around for as long as some of us have been born but yet we can’t seem to get it right.
Maybe you do have multiple receptacles for recycling efforts but you see your building maintenance person just toss them all into one receptacle outside. It is a common misunderstanding that people think there are little gnomes at the landfill that sort through all of our ‘garbage’ and pull out the recyclables. Even if these gnomes do exist, which they don’t, how much extra is it costing us for them to do the job that we should have done from the very beginning? Are we such an entitled society that we can’t take an extra 2 steps to the recycling receptacle?
If you feel the building you are renting from does a crappy job recycling, then complain! You are a business owner and rent a space from them that includes recycling efforts. Recycling is mandated by the city of Milwaukee so if your complaints fall on def ears then call the DNR at (414) 263-8714. Worse case scenario is you take your recyclables home and put them in your curbside collection. Recycling is not just an easy sorting action but a way of thinking consciously about our resources. That is a way of thinking that should be shared by everyone if we want to make it another 100 years.
Melissa Tashjian, Compost Crusader LLC www.compostcrusader.com , Helping organizations of all sizes strive for landfill independence, firstname.lastname@example.org 262-394-6075, The connection from dumpster to dirt.