Green janitorial services are an integral component of eco-conscious business recycling and waste reduction strategies.
Green Janitorial Services, Recycling, and Waste Reduction Strategies
Developing a waste management plan is not only the social and ecologically responsible decision for schools and businesses, but it will also help reduce expenditure by identifying areas of excessive or unnecessary financial and resource utilization.
Core components of a successful waste reduction plan are:
- Observe and document current waste production.
- Conduct an audit.
- Develop an action plan.
- Implement a recycling program.
What's in Your Garbage?
As gross as it sounds--before you begin an audit--it's important to document what you are currently throwing away.
- Document the nature and volume of garbage your organization produces on a monthly basis.
- Calculate the total cost of removing the trash from your facility.
- Identify significant areas where waste, either financial or resource, is excessive, or can quickly be reduced.
Once the documentation and calculations are complete, the next step is to conduct an audit.
Auditing Waste Management
Internal audits tend to be biased, so we recommend consulting with an outside third party to compile information objectively.
Waste management audits will analyze the area's documented in the initial waste output analysis.
- Document who is handling various types of waste.
- Determine if overlapping processes are producing additional levels of trash.
- Interview key personnel to ascertain areas of inefficiency.
Once the audit is compiled, it's time to create an action plan to address areas where waste is excessive, or can easily be reduced or eliminated.
An action plan can consist of one, or a combination, of several activities that combine to reduce waste and expenditure associated with waste removal.
- Implement purchasing strategies.
- Alter the way certain types of 'trash' are handled.
- Encourage employee behavior.
- Incentivize participation.
When creating an action plan, the first thing you should address is how resources are purchased and managed.
- Centralize all purchasing to eliminate unnecessary overlap and to track utilization.
- Create policies to prioritize the return of unused resources to a reuse storage facility.
- Encourage workers to pull from the reuse storage before requesting new materials.
- Eliminate the purchase of one-and-off items, such as single-use utensils and cups.
- Allocate funds towards technology purchases to eliminate paper and printer toner waste.
- Contract a local recycling organization to assist with equipment and plan implementation strategies.
One Man's Trash
Upon inspection, when considered from alternative viewpoints, 'garbage' can actually be quite useful.
- All e-Waste should be donated or recycled.
- Food waste can be turned into mulch for office or school gardens or can be used to feed pigs in high schools with 4-H or similar programs.
- Old desks and office equipment can be donated to the Salvation Army.
Waste Management Policies
To achieve any measurable success, aligning student and employee action is vital.
- Encourage staff to bring food to work in reusable containers.
- Place designated recycle bins in convenient locations and incentivize everyone to encourage wide program adoption.
- Purchase reusable materials, such as cups, plates, and bowls for kitchen and cafeteria use.
- Create an email first and print-only-as-needed policy to reduce paper and toner waste.
Incentivizing Recycling Programs With Gamification
Participation in recycling programs is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of waste an organization contributes to local landfills.
To accomplish this, it is necessary to engage as many individuals as possible, and the simplest way to do that is to incentivize positive behavior.
The best solution for the challenge of incentivizing engagement is gamification--enter Recyclebank.
Recyclebank issues point's to users based on positive behavior.
In turn, those points can be exchanged for perks, such as discounts for online purchases, as well as vacations and nights out at a restaurant.
Most interesting is The Recyclebank Green Schools Program, where schools can submit ideas for eco-friendly community and school projects, and Recyclebank helps promote the project to acquire funding, similar to Kickstarter.
Green Cleaning Tips
When establishing guidelines for your action plan, don't forget to include your organization's janitorial services practices and procedures.
- Purchase bulk green cleaning chemicals from a local vendor, and implement a chemical management system to reduce wasted water, packaging, and limit shipping needs.
- Implement high-quality, ultra-microfiber to further reduce water waste, as well as disposable towel use.
- Switch to eco-friendly green cleaning and sanitizing products to eliminate waste added to the water table and local environment.
References and Resources
- Waste Reduction Strategies for Your Business
- 5 ways to reduce waste and costs on your company's campus
- 8 new ways to reduce waste at your business
- Waste Reduction Strategies for Each Department within a School District
- 5 Steps to Better Business Recycling
Green janitorial services are a natural complement to school and business recycling, waste reduction, and waste management programs, which can be an enormous benefit to everyone.
The easiest way to start is to consult with a local professional experienced in providing central purchasing of green products and managing eco-friendly services.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of green janitorial services, recycling, or waste management programs for your school or business, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790