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Efficient Waste Management for Retailers

Environmental and Social Responsibility

Retailers are taking a two-pronged strategy of reducing their own waste while encouraging their customers to recycle as well. This is why Lincoln Waste Solutions is partnering with a variety of retailers; in hopes of finding ways to help make your retail business more environmentally, economically and socially responsible. Zero waste to landfill is the target that many retailers are setting themselves. Minimizing product waste, creating partnerships and generating energy from waste is helping them to achieve this. Efficient waste management not only cut costs but can allow retailers to make money from recyclables.

The first step in this process is for Lincoln Waste to undertake a complete waste management audit in an effort to drastically reduce your waste spending. We guarantee to save you at least ten percent over whatever you spent last year on your waste outsourcing, and we will put that in writing. Most retailers' target is to reach zero landfill by the end of the decade. Many retailers plan is to reduce their operational waste by a quarter and construction waste by half by 2012, and eventually reach zero waste to landfill. Many are working towards a goal of diverting 95% of their operational waste away from landfills by 2013. Many will need the assistance of trash brokers or waste brokers to get this done.

The Government isn't allowing any new landfill sites to be commissioned, and with the costs of sending waste to landfill increasing each year - due to the landfill tax and rising costs of fuel - it is necessary that managers utilize outside resources such as waste optimization firms and waste brokers and managed haulers to try and keep rubbish and recycling costs to a minimum.

Many retailers generate thousands of dollars in revenue for each store from the materials they are recycling. This has meant that even while increasing the number of stores, some retailers have reduced their overall waste disposal costs. In 2008, IKEA had 11 stores and spent $1,500,000.00 on solid waste removal, while last year 19 stores cost $788,000.00. Lincoln Waste has the experience to recommend those changes which will significantly drop your waste spend. In the case of IKEA, they installed state of the art baling equipment that bundled materials like cardboard and paper, which was then sent off for processing at a production facility then sent to the paper mill. This is part of the recycling equipment outline that Lincoln waste establishes with our waste audit. IKEA is now able to recycle up to 90% of all its waste.

This effort of minimizing waste and having an efficient waste management policy extends to having a full-time environmental specialist in each store. Their role is to drive targets and oversee training, implementation and monitor key performance indicators. So whether the challenge is helping reduce consumer waste or the lack of facilities available, retailers are hiring Lincoln Waste Solutions to push towards their goals of reducing waste sent to landfill in order to cut costs, increase profits and help the environment.

We think recycling is cool! Recycling in your retail operation can actually help you sell product. By implementing a recycling program - and showing it off - you will communicate to customers that you care about the environment and are cost-conscious. Packaging materials, particularly corrugated cardboard, make up a large portion of any retail store's waste. Because much of this waste is generated outside the retail establishment, reduction efforts must be made in cooperation with vendors.

Incoming packaging such as bags and boxes can be reused as packaging for customers. However, while this reduces disposal requirements, it does not solve the problem of unnecessary packaging. If vendors ship products in unnecessary or non-recyclable packaging, ask them to reduce packaging or switch to materials that can be recycled or reused.

Here are some of the suggestions we give our clients for Successful Recycling:

  1. Most of your waste will be corrugated cardboard. To reduce volume and make storage easier, flatten and bale the corrugated cardboard. We will perform an audit and decide if it is cost effective to install a cardboard compactor.
  2. Include recycling information in your orientation for new employees.
  3. Educate the janitorial service and/or staff responsible for taking out the trash and recyclables about proper separation procedures.
  4. Inform grounds crews of the reasons why yard waste should not be mixed with other wastes.
  5. Make sure that managers of public areas in shopping complexes are provided with containers for recycling.
  6. Put up signs to tell customers that you recycle.

In the end, as with any change to structure, the main component of making waste reduction work is staff and customer involvement, as well as a partnership between you and Lincoln Waste. Implementing new products and programs without integrating a comprehensive training program, precluded by a waste audit, will result in failure.

Most employees are excited to implement sustainable practices at the work, especially when they feel they are doing the next right thing in terms of helping the planet. Properly training them on the Lincoln Waste Solutions system will ensure that your new sustainability programs are accepted and successful.


Lincoln Waste Solutions, LLC • 2075 Silas Deane Highway, Suite 101 • Rocky Hill, CT 06067 • 888-847-7047 •

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