Republic's Telling Infographic on the Hidden Costs of Waste

Republic Services, the well-known, international landfilling and recycling company, has just released a very telling infographic that highlights the costs of wastes for businesses across the country.

Drawing from EPA and nonprofit studies, business owners are:

  • Paying and average of $50 per ton to dump in landfills each year.
  • Spending a combined $165 million in environmental & legal fees annually.
  • Spending a combined 155 years in jail for environmental violations.

But innovative businesses are reaping the rewards of literally following the "3 R's" of waste reduction, reuse, and recycling and experiencing cost savings:

  • On the back end, businesses are prioritizing tighter inventory control so purchasing of unnecessary items is avoided. Also, identifying ways to reuse already purchased goods can give items like office supplies and furniture a 2nd or even 3rd life cycle.
  • On the front end, businesses are understanding that it is imperative to "right-size" containers to maximize dumpster space and optimize the frequency of hauling pickups. It just doesn't make sense to contract for peak services all year if a business can "right-size" a hauling contract and call for extra pickups during peak times of the year, like the holidays.
  • It is estimated that recycling can be up to 40% less expensive than trash hauling, so it's clear that taking a second look into business wastes and diverting as much recycling as possible can have a real effect on the bottom line.
  • Also, many businesses are getting organics, such as excess food and landscape trimmings, out of their dumpsters. Through food purchase reductions, food donations to feed hungry people and animals in our communities, and/or composting organic wastes, business owners can free up about 40% of dumpster space for actual trash that cannot be recycled.

Over the past several decades, the green efforts of businesses and governments have spawned customers who are becoming keenly aware of and demand sustainable practices. Based on the report, 60% of consumers are more likely to shop companies that have a strong environmental track record.

With multiple ways to save money and increase customer loyalty, why would any business continue to trash highly valuable discards that create jobs and boost local economies?