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WASTE WATCHERS BLOG

Helping businesses improve their waste diversion & recycling efforts, one post at a time!

Rachel Brown

Recent Posts

6 Easy Green Commitments for Businesses in the New Year

As the world welcomes a new year where sustainability will be near the top of every discussion, businesses can’t afford another broken resolution. We set your company up for lasting commitments.

  As the world turns over a new leaf—with very green attitudes toward everything from purchasing decisions to improved recycling—businesses need more than just another empty resolution. This year, and every year from this point, will be about lasting commitments to sustainability.  Every habit, whether for an individual or an organization, takes small steps to build into an ongoing practice. With budgets resetting and brand reputations on the line, it’s time to consider adopting one or more of the following sustainability tips with a little intention. In doing so, you’ll witness the positive changes, both big and small, that ensue. 

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How Much Does Waste Generation Rise During the Holidays?

During the holiday season, Americans produce an additional one million tons of waste each week! We put together a resource that will help you reduce your waste this holiday season.

  As we leave our workplaces and sign off of Zoom for the holidays, we trade the stress of the job for the stresses of upholding traditions, hosting festivities, feasting, and gift-giving. And that leads to a shift away from typical non-holiday behavior, particularly around how often Americans are running garbage bags out to the curb. During the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Years, Americans toss 25% more trash, producing an additional one million tons of waste every week. Between trends of surging online retail, the rise of convenience-driven takeout meals, and ornate gift wrapping, Americans stand to make more waste than ever this holiday. This means that we need to be both proactive and mindful about reducing the amount of waste we generate and dispose of—and RoadRunner has just the tips you need to make this season a little greener.

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The Environmental Crisis Caused by Textile Waste

Many people are shocked to learn that 84 percent of clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators. Upon learning this, we wanted to know what is driving that outcome and what kind of impact it has on the environment. Here's everything you need to know about why managing textile waste is so challenging, the impacts it has on the environment, what brands are doing to reduce textile waste, and how your business can take action. Continue reading to learn more!

  FAST FACTS: Before you dive into the main content in this post, check out these surprising facts about textile waste:

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'Tis the Season for Recycling Cardboard

During the holiday season, Americans produce an additional one million tons of waste each week! We put together a resource that will help you reduce your waste this holiday season.

  I think most of us can admit that we’ve collectively experienced a strange year, to put it mildly. And as 2020 draws closer to its end, there seems to be a sense of relief that has settled in for many as we wade into the gift-giving season. However, if you’ve read any of RoadRunner’s recent blogs, wishing you a “green” holiday or sharing sustainability tips to encourage more eco-friendly habits during upcoming festivities, you may have picked up that this time of year is responsible for a significant increase in waste generation (see below). Moreover, the average holiday waste figure above is based on data from previous years when much of the world wasn’t living through a global pandemic—An ongoing event that has shifted the way many households live, how businesses operate, and the type of waste we all create.  With this in mind, we wanted to talk about a material that most businesses and households are probably quite familiar with, more so now than ever before: Cardboard!  Given that many of us are working—or, at the very least—shopping from home, we’re likely well aware of how cardboard makes its way into our space, in the form of online orders, takeout meals, ongoing deliveries, office shipments, and more. In an effort to not only educate, but also motivate you, to recycle your cardboard appropriately, we put together an infographic called: Cardboard Recycling 101 to share some interesting facts, explain the lifecycle of this material, and, most importantly, encourage people to reuse, recycle, or upcycle it this holiday season and into the new year.

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6 Tips for a Sustainable Holiday Season

During the holiday season, Americans produce an additional one million tons of waste each week! We put together a resource that will help you reduce your waste this holiday season.

  It likely comes as no surprise that people generate more waste during the holidays than any other time of year—25 percent more to be exact. And given the unexpected circumstances that 2020 brought with it this year, that percentage isn’t expected to decrease any time soon. If anything, with all the online shopping, deliveries, and takeout orders, we’re likely to see an increase in holiday waste generation.  It's also worth noting that we're already deep into prime “waste generation season,” which falls between Thanksgiving and New Years, annually. So we thought it would be helpful to share not just the staggering facts about holiday waste, but also some helpful solutions to reduce waste (and hopefully recycle more) during this time and beyond. Before sharing more about the landscape of holiday waste, consider that reducing waste at your business or home doesn’t just positively impact the environment, but can also help save money by lowering recurring expenses. The reason for this is when unexpected waste increases occur, typical vendors can be required to service your location more frequently, or pick up a lot more trash than what was agreed upon in a waste contract—often resulting, most commonly, in overage charges and unexpected fees.  That’s why it’s important to not only anticipate when waste increases may occur for your business, but also work with a waste and recycling hauler that makes it easy to change service frequencies, add new streams as needed (e.g. cardboard, mixed paper, etc.), and help you avoid unnecessary charges when possible.  All that said, please see some key stats below to put the increase in holiday waste into perspective and check out our sustainable holiday infographic for tips on how you can reduce waste this season and into next year!

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Small Business Saturday 2020

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping tradition held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Get a head start on your holiday shopping by supporting your favorite small businesses on November 24th!

  Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? We can’t! This year, among many things, has felt paradoxical—time flying one minute and standing still the next. But despite the unforeseen circumstances of 2020, a major theme that's been consistently present is the resilience among people and institutions in the face of challenges. One area where this resilience is apparent is in the support of small businesses. Whether a local restaurant, unique consignment shop, or small town bakery, there have been numerous examples of communities coming together to support the businesses they love most...even amidst a global pandemic. And, this makes sense when 99.9 percent of businesses in the U.S.— 30.7 million to be exact—fall into this category and contribute to keeping our economy healthy. However, as winter sets in across the country, and COVID-19 cases rise, it’s important to not lose sight of the momentum behind supporting small businesses before, through, and after the holidays, even if that support looks a little different this year. Moreover, it’s worth noting: some small business owners, while grateful for the influx of support, have also struggled to keep up with mountains of new orders or expanding their supply chain, especially if their products are handmade, require customization, or are created with specialty ingredients or parts.  That’s why, it’s important to support these business owners with patience and proactivity top of mind—Shopping earlier this year and giving small store owners the space, understanding, and time necessary to fill your order within the constraints of their business and resources.  This coming week marks the 10th annual Small Business Saturday, but is still happening to call attention to the importance of shopping at small businesses, which, no matter what year it is, happens to be the backbone of our local communities and national economy. So be sure to keep reading for why you should support small business, a few sustainability tips to keep in mind while shopping in-person or online, and a roundup of local businesses to support in key markets (plus, a map for how to #ShopSmall in your area).

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Find out what items cause recyclable contamination issues
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Learn about common waste invoice charges and how to avoid them
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A step-by-step guide to conducting your own waste audit
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