How to Turn Waste into Revenue in Your Company
The improper disposal of waste can cause significant harm to the environment and wildlife. Waste that is not recycled or disposed of in an eco-friendly manner is often burned in landfills, polluting the air and water and threatening animals’ safety.
This statement alone may not catch the attention of many. However, combined with the fact that in 2021, the U.S. generated 40 million tons of plastic waste, with only 5% to 6% – about two million tons – being recycled, according to the World Economic Forum, the impact becomes clear.
Non-eco-friendly waste disposal methods severely degrade the environment and cost companies a lot of money for collecting, transporting, and disposing of waste. Fortunately, adopting environmentally-friendly methods is possible and can generate revenues for companies.
This article will discuss why adopting a proper waste management strategy is important and what options are available.
Why is Waste Management Important in Business?
The positive impacts of a winning waste management strategy are rewarding for the company, society, and the environment.
To Cut Costs
All waste disposal methods, including landfill, incineration, biogas production, and others, require a significant budget. When considering this, a company’s capital spent on waste disposal could be used in other areas of operation. In fact, if waste management is done properly, it can reduce costs and generate revenues.
To Protect the Environment
Traditional waste disposal methods are not only expensive, but they also severely harm the environment. Ineffective waste disposal leads to air pollution and soil and water contamination and negatively impacts wildlife and climate. However, adopting an effective waste management strategy can reduce greenhouse emissions and sustain the environment for future generations.
To Boost a Brand’s Image
A brand that values the environment and the humans dwelling in it will definitely gain an unparalleled reputation, especially with the increased environmental awareness among people of all social classes and backgrounds. Companies that support social or environmental issues can improve their image among consumers, with 87% of them holding a more favorable view of such businesses!
To Comply with Legal Requirements
Notably, the waste management sector is one of the most influential in terms of its impact on the environment. Due to the hazardous effects of waste on nature, there are many rules and regulations that govern it. Therefore, any damage caused by a business’s poor waste disposal strategy will be its responsibility.
How to Turn Waste into Revenue in Your Company?
Here are several strategies that each business can undertake to turn waste into revenue.
Implement a Waste Recycling Method
Recyclable materials, including paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass, can generate significant income. One hundred pounds of cardboard is worth around $4, and when scaled up to 2,000 pounds, the total value can be as high as $80.
It demonstrates that there is considerable profit potential in recycling pure waste materials. Although recycling can be expensive, the investment can be worthwhile with a solid strategy and sufficient capital.
Adopt a Composting Strategy
Compost is a plant fertilizer that is constantly needed by nature to improve soil texture and promote plant growth. With around 931 million tons of food going to waste each year, composting solves the food waste problem, mitigates businesses’ environmental impact, and generates revenue from selling the finished compost.
Therefore, instead of perfectly good food ending up in landfills, composting can divert tons of carbon and positively influence the environment while also boosting a business’s revenues.
Allocate an E-waste Disposal Location
According to Statista, more than 50 million metric tons of e-waste are generated globally annually. E-waste refers to any discarded electronic gadget; it could be a television, computer, mobile, etc., and is especially common in big firms and offices. That’s why it’s recommended to start spending less on office supplies, especially for small businesses and start-ups.
Electronic waste, however, is a double-edged sword, as it can cause environmental pollution due to the containment of lead, cadmium, and other hazardous materials. Moreover, their batteries can leak dangerous chemicals.
On the other hand, refurbishing and reselling these gadgets can be a thriving source of income. Companies that dispose of e-waste on a large scale and frequently can arrange an e-waste disposal area, where employees can drop off their dead gadgets and get them refurbished and then resold for a profit.
Top Challenges of Turning Waste into Wealth
To begin implementing a proper waste management strategy on the right foot, a company must be aware of the challenges it may face by conducting a risk analysis. Here are the top challenges of waste management systems that businesses must be aware of:
There is very little awareness about waste management strategies, as most companies still rely on traditional approaches that are easier, more cost-effective, and faster rather than environmentally-friendly ones. Consequently, there is a shortage of waste collection and disposal facilities, and waste collection and transport strategies remain rudimentary.
A proper waste management strategy will generate incremental revenues. However, achieving such rewarding outcomes does not come at an affordable price. Waste management strategies can be expensive, and not every company can afford them.
The climate affects many waste management strategies, such as recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and others. Since the climate has always been changing and will continue to do so, it is important to consider the climate when implementing waste management strategies.
To Sum up
Implementing a waste management strategy is a significant milestone for any company, but it cannot be accomplished easily or by the business owners alone. Instead, it requires a collective effort to promote workplace social wellness and collaboration among all parties to succeed. As a result, this strategy’s positive impacts will benefit everyone involved.
Mike Abelson, an accomplished Editorial Director at Lendza, has dedicated his career to helping entrepreneurs and startups improve their financial strategies with sustainability in mind.
Before joining Lendza, Mike worked in the financial industry for over 10 years, further enriching his expertise in the finance sector. He previously helped small-to-large businesses grow and develop their companies from inception.