What is a Zero-Waste Program?

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Rubbermaid receptacles for trash, mixed recycling, and compost showing how to manage multiple waste streams

Have you wanted to adopt more environmentally-friendly business practices but don’t know where to start? An easy way for your business to be more sustainable is to implement a zero-waste program. A zero-waste program, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is “the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”

Achieving zero-waste for your business does not necessarily mean eliminating all waste generation, rather it is a concept that emphasizes a commitment to continually reduce, reuse, and recycle the waste you produce while sending as little material to landfills or incinerators as possible. In other words, the goal is to be responsible for the waste produced and reuse everything we can, rather than toss it. 

A zero-waste program can bring several benefits to a business, ranging from environmental and social advantages to economic and operational improvements. In this blog post, we list some of the benefits of having this type of sustainability program at your business and how it can be implemented.

The Benefits of a Zero-Waste Program

  1. Environmental Impact: A zero-waste program helps to reduce the environmental footprint of the business.
  2. Policy Compliance: Many regions are implementing stricter waste management regulations. Adopting a zero-waste program can help businesses stay compliant with these regulations, which can help your business avoid potential fines.
  3. Cost Reduction: Optimize resource usage, reduces waste generation, and finds more efficient waste processes. This can lead to cost savings regarding waste disposal fees, raw material usage, and overall operational expenses.
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Having bins dedicated to specific product waste, such as mixed recycling, organic waste, compost, and landfill, shows consumers that you are striving towards sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, which can enhance a company’s CSR profile. This can positively influence consumer perception and attract socially responsible customers and future employees.

Waste Stream Labels for Zero-Waste Management

To make it easy for your customers and employees to follow your program, make sure bins are clearly labeled and consistent in color and icons to help make sorting easier.

Closeup of different waste stream receptacle labels for landfill, trash, organic waste, compost, mixed recycling, paper, plastic, glass, cans, and bottles/cansTo get you started on a zero-waste program, download our Can Liners and Receptacle Guide to learn about some of our sustainable products.

Let WCP Help You and Your Business Achieve Your Sustainability Goals

On top of being able to help you and your team adopt a zero-waste program at your business, we are proud to be able to offer a range of other sustainable products from food service containers, to packaging, to serving utensils, and more. Our Account Managers can help you find the right program and sustainable solution for you and your business. Contact our team online or give us a call today at (877) 398-3030.