Why should your organization consider a Zero Waste and composting program at your facility?
Reason #1: In California and other states, the law may require you to.
According to 2008 Statewide Waste Characterization data, the commercial sector generated nearly three fourths of the solid waste in California. Furthermore, much of the commercial sector waste disposed in landfills is readily recyclable.
AB 341/SB 1018 set forth the requirements of the statewide mandatory commercial recycling program. These laws require businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week to arrange for recycling services. Both became effective in 2012.
Businesses can take one or any combination of the following in order to reuse, recycle, compost or otherwise divert solid waste from disposal:
- Subscribe to a hauler(s).
- Arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials.
- Subscribe to a recycling service that may include mixed waste processing that yields diversion results comparable to source separation.
- Compost food, paper, and landscaping waste on site!
A property owner of a commercial business may require tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with this section.
The purpose of these new laws is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting commercial solid waste from landfills and expand opportunities for recycling in California.
Source: CalRecycle, “Mandatory Commercial Recycling” http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial
Reason #2: Your organization can reap the benefits of the “Sustainable Advantage.”
Zero Waste and composting programs are key to a sustainable and responsible enterprise. Give your organization a competitive advantage by adopting innovative and environmentally-friendly practices and procedures. The financial, environmental and social benefits of a corporate Zero Waste and composting program include:
- Saving money on waste management, hauling and disposal expenses.
- Increasing market share due to consumer perception of company’s green leadership.
- Keeping valuable materials out of the landfills / Using finished compost for sustainable landscaping practices.
- Avoiding greenhouse gas emissions (especially methane) at landfills from the decomposition of organic materials.
- Applying finished compost provides carbon storage in soils and reduces use of fertilizers, pesticides, and water.
- Compost creates healthy soils, can regenerate habitats, and is the foundation of sustainable ecosystems.
- Improving public and community relations.
- Potential for on-site food production/employee gardens: ability to reform the food system.
- Creating a healthy environment for the community and future generations by recovering natural resources.
- Strengthening corporate culture and improving employee retention – “It’s the right thing to do.”
Click here to see what materials are appropriate for composting.