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WASTE WATCHERS BLOG

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

Landfills: We're Running Out of Space

All over the country, subterranean garbage heaps called landfills are rising, fueled by the 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) the US produces each year. For many Americans, “out of sight, out of mind” is good enough. But inevitably, major problems will surface. From hazardous waste to running out of space, we may be overwhelmed by the rising cost of landfills this century.

This post was originally posted March 2018 and has updated with recent data and analysis March 2021. What if we told you the biggest cover-up operation in America had to do with where we send trash? All over the country, subterranean garbage heaps called landfills are rising, fueled by the 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) the US produces each year.  According to the EPA, in 2018, almost half of that trash (49.997%) went to landfills around the country. Worse, yearly MSW production has been steadily climbing, year over year since recording first began in the 1960s—and the US has never had a national recycling rate (recovered material + composting) higher than 35%. For many Americans, “out of sight, out of mind” is good enough. But inevitably, major problems will surface. From hazardous waste to running out of space, we may be overwhelmed by the rising cost of landfills this century.

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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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7 Tips to Appeal to the Eco-Conscious Consumer

A recent study found that almost 70% of consumers under the age of 35 prefer brands based on ethical practices & transparency. Now that consumers are becoming more informed of the environmental impacts of their purchases, brands are beginning to understand their responsibility to take conscious steps towards improving the environment with their activities.

  With raging wildfires, a threatening hurricane season, and the ongoing issue of climate change, there has never been a better time than the present for companies to integrate sustainability into their business practices. And, don’t just take our word for it, mounting pressures from stakeholders, employees, and consumers alike have made it imperative for organizations to prioritize a sustainability strategy as part of its every day operations or risk getting left behind. In fact, almost half of shoppers in the United States say they’ll change their consumption habits to benefit the environment.

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6 Practices for an Eco-friendly Business Environment

Businesses have an excellent opportunity to focus on iterating on old ideas and introducing new practices to improve the health of their organization. Read our post to pick up tips for integrating environmentally-friendly practices into your business to help create a healthier environment while driving corporate success!

 

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5 Steps Businesses Can Take to Fight Climate Change

Businesses who make climate change a priority can prepare for what may come in the future and have a leg up on their competition who are not taking steps to address climate-related issues and risks. Read the post to learn more about the causes of climate change, how it impacts the planet, and what business can do about it.

 

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The Decomposition Clock

If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that recycling can be confusing by nature, which often results in individuals sending the majority of their waste to landfills. Unfortunately, this behavior has consequences—the most obvious being the length of time it takes certain materials to decompose in a landfill. We've created a helpful visualization to better understand the decomposition times of frequently discarded materials. Check out our post to learn more.

 

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How To Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Business

Developing a strategy for reducing your business' carbon footprint can help educate your employees about climate change and the importance of incorporating environmentally-friendly workplace behaviors. To help your business get started, this post covers everything you need to know about carbon footprints, how to calculate them, and actionable reduction tips for your workplace. Continue reading to learn more!

  April 22nd, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, motivating businesses around the world to change their behaviors to minimize their environmental impact. One way companies can do this is by reducing their carbon footprints. Developing a strategy for reducing your business' impact can help educate your employees about this year's Earth Day theme, climate change, and the importance of incorporating environmentally-friendly workplace behaviors. To help your business get started, this post covers everything you need to know about carbon footprints, how to calculate them, and actionable reduction tips for your workplace. Continue reading to learn more!

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How To Become Your Business's Eco-Ambassador

Do you cringe every time you see one of your well-meaning coworkers toss a recyclable container into the trash? Do the intricacies of our nation's recycling system leave you agitated? Or maybe you generally have recycling on the brain. If any of those resonate with you, Eco-Ambassador may be the role for you! Continue reading for our tips on implementing a successful Eco-Ambassador program.

 

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10 Environmental Initiatives to Watch in 2020

It's hard to believe that in 21 days we'll be welcoming a new year and a new decade. Many of us will spend time looking back on the year (or the decade) to consider what we learned, how we've grown, what worked, and what didn't work. But it's also important to look forward to what's coming. In the world of recycling and environmental initiatives, 2020 is stacking up to be a big year! Learn which ones we're excited about.

 

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