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WASTE WATCHERS BLOG

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

Why Does Hot Weather Make Waste Management More Difficult?

From pests and smells to fires and service delays, the biggest problems for routine waste and recycling service pop up during periods of hot weather.

  Summer is the time to splurge on vacation days, long lunches, and company picnics for many businesses, but there’s no fun in the sun for commercial waste and recycling services. While the postal service might curse the falling of rain, snow, or sleet, the biggest problems for routine waste collection and disposal pop up during the heat. Now, with the historic heat waves of the US and Canada increasing and intensifying, the table is set for unprecedented challenges in waste management. While foul odors, pests, and overflowing trash plague the business side, hot weather wreaks even more havoc on the industry. Dealing with service delays, mechanical failure, and landfills primed like powder kegs, hot weather can turn the process into a real dumpster fire—for everyone involved. However, a little preparation and precaution can make all the difference during the sweltering season, and these are the things your business should know (and prepare for) to beat the heat.

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10 Environmental & Sustainability Initiatives to Know This Year

In this post, we’re covering some of the year's most impactful environmental, recycling, and sustainability initiatives in the business world.

 

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The History and Future of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In 1997, racing boat captain Charles Moore made an unfortunate discovery in one of the most remote parts of the world. Returning from a trans-Pacific race, he and his crew were met by an undulating trash heap, with plastic junk bobbing in the ocean for as far as the eye could see. He called it the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and this swirling unnatural disaster looming off the coast of California may be a greater threat than any hurricane of our time.

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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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