Your business can potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually while doing the right thing for the environment. How? By starting or enhancing a recycling program, including organics recycling. Doing so can potentially generate significant cost savings for your business – and it is the required thing to do.
As of January 2016, state law requires all Minnesota businesses and organizations to recycle at least three types of materials, including (but not limited to) paper, plastic and aluminum. According to a recent Ramsey County survey, nearly 90 percent of businesses in the East Metro area have some sort of a recycling program. Yet businesses in our area could do far more to recycle – particularly to reach the state’s goal of a 75 percent recycling rate by 2030.
To help local businesses improve their recycling, Ramsey and Washington counties started BizRecycling. BizRecycling provides free resources and assistance to businesses, including grants of up to $10,000 to start or enhance recycling programs, as well as free recycling consulting, and free labels for recycling, organics and trash bins.
Why Should Businesses Recycle?
There are many reasons why businesses of all sizes should not only recycle, but also maximize their recycling efforts:
Cost savings – By recycling and composting, a business may require a smaller trash container, less frequent trash pickups, or both. This can provide significant waste hauling savings. After starting a recycling/composting program, many mid-sized businesses in our area reported trash-hauling savings of several thousand dollars annually.
Tax savings – Your trash bill not only includes a fee for trash hauling, but also county and state taxes. These taxes total 70 percent in Ramsey County, and 53 percent in Washington County. However, there is no tax in these counties on traditional or organics recycling. That means the more you recycle, the greater your tax savings.
Environmental benefits – When organic materials go into a landfill, they quickly break down into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. As a result, landfills account for more than 20 percent of methane emissions. Removing organics from the waste stream and turning them into compost substantially improves our environment.
Brand benefits – According to research, consumers are more likely to support and purchase from a business that recycles than businesses that do not. That’s a particular advantage for businesses in the highly competitive hospitality and food and beverage industries.
Health and sanitation benefits – Businesses can substantially improve their sanitation and protect public health and safety by placing organic waste into closed, leak-proof, durable and eusable recycling containers bound for composting. Organics dumped into standard trash containers may attract rodents and insects, generate bad odors (requiring costly remediation measures) and detract from the overall attractiveness of a business.
Businesses in Ramsey and Washington counties have free access to county-approved recycling experts, who are available to work with you and assist your business in designing a new recycling program, or enhancing your existing one.
Getting started is as easy as dialing 651-266-1199 or filling out a brief form on the BizRecycling website. A recycling expert will contact you within two business days. They will arrange a free visit to your site, including a review and analysis of your trash output, trash bills, and trash/recycling options. Your consultant will also provide information about applying for a BizRecycling Grant to start or improve your recycling.
In no time at all, you can be joining tens of thousands of other local businesses in our community in enjoying the cost savings, as well as the environmental and community benefits, of recycling!