Waste Disposal in Commercial Properties: Part 2

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One of the best ways to cut down on the costs of waste management in your commercial property is to encourage your tenants to recycle and reuse things instead of throwing them in the garbage.

You’ll want to put up friendly reminders and helpful tips around the building in order to encourage a culture of non-waste. People are much more likely to buy in to and idea if they believe that they are not the only ones doing so. Recycling is very simple, and once you can get a person to start doing it, they rarely go back to throwing everything indiscriminately into the trash. With that being said, what your recycling program ultimately looks like depends on your own specific situation.

Don’t be overly concerned of your garbage collection contractor or other hauler if you need to make special arrangements for them to pick up recyclables. Your job is to have people start to recycle in general. Remember that this will make for less emptying of your main garbage bins and will limit the amount of trash or litter that you see around the building. As an added bonus, the tenants can directly deal with many recyclables such as bottles and cans.

Different areas of the country will have different bylaws, so it is important to read up on this information. In any case, beverage containers, newspapers, corrugated cardboard and milk cartons can be brought to a depot for recycling.

Remember that there is more to recycling than helping the environment, it is also a great way to save money, and it cuts back on the amount of resources we waste. It is a very good idea to encourage your building owner or manager to start up a recycling program. Follow these simple steps to help you get started.

  1. Find out how garbage is handled now. Is each tenant required to bring his or her garbage to a central dumpster or are there garbage chutes on each floor? Is there a storage room in the ground floor or is garbage stored outside the building?
  2. Contact your municipality to determine what recycling opportunities are available in your area. It makes sense to design your system around existing recycling programs.
  3. Design a recycling system that fits into your situation. For example, if each tenant places their garbage into a dumpster in the back of the building, then set up a separate container for recyclables, providing instructions on using it.
  4. Prepare information for tenants on how the program is to work and why it is important to participate.
  5. Launch the program. Use the tenants’ association or internal newsletters to broadcast the program or, if the building is small enough, discuss it with your neighbours over the back fence or in the lobby.
  6. Monitor the program to make sure everyone knows how to participate properly and receives information on how well they are doing.
  7. Adjust the program to take any changes into account. Has the collection contractor changed? Does the new contractor handle garbage and recyclables differently? Are there different materials that can be recycled.
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