Why Recycling is the Best Place to Start Your Company’s Sustainability Program

recycling for company sustainability programs

In last month’s installment, we talked about sustainability and why it has become a key part of so many companies’ strategies as organizations strive to meet increasing competitive pressures to perform, not just financially, but also environmentally. As one regulator said to me, several years ago, “waste management is so 1980s.” (I could almost hear the disco music and see the big hair!) Today, most companies have, in one form or another, a recycling program. 

As you expand, start, or restart your company’s sustainability program, recycling is without question the best place to begin. Why? Because everyone in your organization sees it and touches it every day! It’s also by far the easiest of the “big-4” with which to get buy-in from personnel. Sure, water, energy, and carbon are important. Reducing water and energy consumption are important, and we all know of the ills brought about by carbon emissions. But let’s walk before we run. Ask any co-worker how they can meaningfully affect water, energy, or carbon and you’ll see what I mean. These are too intangible. Recycling, on the other hand, folks can literally get their arms around. They can see it happening before their very eyes. 

Whether you’re a Fortune 500 or a smaller manufacturer, logistics operation, or food processor, you’re probably recycling pallets, packaging, or production waste. If not, then this is for you. If you are, then this is also for you. I’ll explain.

Anyone can explore recycling and begin the move from waste management to more sustainable practices by simply entering “recycling near me.” Or by being more specific by entering “plastic recycling near me” or “cardboard recycling near me” into your search engine. Depending on your word choice (and location) you will see ads, local government pages, maybe a few academic articles, and probably some trade associations. Unfortunately, what you’re unlikely to find are any conclusive results as to how to do it and more importantly, how to sustain it! The truth is, there’s not just one way. Like so many things in business, there are multiple approaches to, not only waste management but also to the recycling business. 

You’re going to want to find the right recycling business near you and ensure that whether it’s only cardboard recycling, plastic recycling, or even food waste recycling, the recycling business that you choose is a good fit for your organization and for them. We all know that one-sided, zero-sum relationships don’t usually last long. 

Cumberland Recycling Co. exists to make recycling simpler and more cost-effective for the manufacturing and industrial business segments. We can improve your bottom line through efficient and responsible recycling programs. We also manage the activities that make recycling successful. Ready to start your company’s sustainability program? Contact us today and let us help! 


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A Guide to Management Services and Recycling