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Businesses considering 4 essential factors for effective recycling
Recycling // Knowledge Base // Waste Industry

4 Essential Factors For Effective Business Recycling

These 4 essential factors help determine effective, efficient recycling programs for businesses.

Bradford Arick | June 15, 2023


Recycling plays a critical role as part of a comprehensive waste management program for any business. It allows businesses to reduce waste generation, increase program efficiency, and find opportunities for better affordability. 

However, that depends entirely on the recyclability of materials. A number of factors determine something’s recyclability, including material composition, ease of identification and sorting, infrastructure, accessibility, and market demand. Businesses can achieve an effective, affordable recycling program by considering these elements during times of procurement and disposal.

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1. material composition

The materials that make up a product are crucial in determining something’s recyclability. Commonly recycled materials include paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, steel, and certain types of plastics. Paper and cardboard are light and flat, making them easy to sort. Glass can be easy to recycle in some areas because it is usually heavy and breaks easily into smaller pieces.

For better recycling, manufacturers can proactively design products with recyclability in mind from the start. Incorporating recycled materials in products also reduces demand for virgin materials and promotes circularity. This can contribute to overall waste reduction efforts. 

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2. ease of identification and sorting

Products designed in a way that allows for easy separation and identification of different materials are more recyclable. If a product is made from multiple materials such as plastic and cardboard, it can be recycled if those materials can be easily separated and processed on their own. 

Clear product labeling aids in the recycling process right from the start. It helps consumers understand how it should be recycled and helps speed sorting efforts at the materials recovery facility because the makeup of that product is clearly defined. 

How do you read those plastic recycling symbols? Find out HERE!

3. ease of accessibility and infrastructure

Another factor impacting the recyclability of materials is the ability of businesses to access recycling infrastructure within a region that makes it economically advantageous. Having facilities close by influences business participation, awareness, and education. When facilities are easy to access, often through a service provider, overall recycling rates tend to increase. This makes operational recycling programs more affordable for businesses because on the surface, transportation costs are often automatically lower.

Working with a trusted third party waste and recycling management company, such as RoadRunner, can help your business identify nearby facilities that can sort and recycle the varied materials your business generates as waste.

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4. market demand

For recycling to make sense for many businesses, there has to be demand for recycled materials. Without it, recycling can become economically unsustainable. Manufacturers and businesses are incentivized to design easily recycled products when market demand is high, and many companies are able to recoup operational costs and even generate revenue during these times. Market demand is key for recycling in that it helps provide an economic driver for business participation. 

A comprehensive, fully-managed waste and recycling company should be able to conduct the market research needed to analyze trends, pricing, and demand patterns for the materials your business generates. RoadRunner’s smart technology is able to help your business understand the value of different recyclable materials, and connect you with buyers and facilities who have a demand for that material.

roadrunner is ready to help your business

Working with a trusted third party waste and recycling management company such as RoadRunner helps your business prioritize resource conservation, can reduce waste generation, and provides the data to prove the economic feasibility of recycling. Diversion can be an attractive, affordable option for many businesses, increasingly so when market demand, accessibility, and ease of participation are factored in. Considering these factors during product design and procurement can help establish efficient operational waste and recycling management programs that promote long-term sustainability. 

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