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WASTE WATCHERS BLOG

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

Trust in Recycling is Dropping, Clean-Stream Programs Can Help

Waste secretly rules our businesses. We have to figure out how to manage it, where to take it, and what happens to it. Besides sending it to the landfill, recycling is another viable option. It means items made from plastic, paper, cardboard, and metal can be broken down and used to create new products. How confident is your business that what you’re putting into the recycling bins is being recycled instead of sent to the landfill?

 

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How Businesses Can Help The Plastic Problem in the World's Oceans

Our oceans are cluttered with plastic pollution. Not only is it unsightly, but this impacts the health of our ocean, contributes to rising temperatures, and even affects the quality of our diet. In this post, we explore how we got here, and what businesses can do to help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.

  The sun beats down as you gaze out over the cobalt blue ocean. The thunderous waves continue their relentless pounding as you curl your toes into the hot sand. Breathing in the warm salty air tickles your nose while you lean back in your beach chair. Here and there along the shore, you come across a half-buried plastic bag, an empty soda bottle coughed onto the sand, and an old fishing net lazily bobbing in the surf.    For many of us, this is the extent of our experience with ocean garbage. On vacation at our favorite beach spots, we might come across some evidence of trash once in a while. But that’s barely scratching the surface of the problem. Like particle physics, it’s hard for us to wrap our heads around the amount of trash floating around our blue planet without interacting with it or seeing it. 

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Answers to Some Common Recycling Questions

Here at RoadRunner, we know the whole recycling process can be very confusing. That’s why we wanted to simplify it for you and answer some of the more common questions surrounding recycling. 

  Here at RoadRunner, we know the whole recycling process can be very confusing. That’s why we wanted to simplify it for you and answer some of the more common questions surrounding recycling.  Commonly asked questions   What is Recycling? Is it really beneficial for the environment? I've seen headlines that recycling isn't cost-effective. What does that mean? Can recycling help my business? What's the difference between single-stream and clean-stream recycling? What can be recycled? What can NOT be recycled? Why can't I put plastic bags in my recycling bin? What should I do with my pizza box? Are clothes and shoes recyclable? The arrows on a plastic container mean it is recyclable, right? What happens after they collect the items from my recycling bin? What can be made from the stuff in my recycling bin?

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Go Clean and Green This Spring while Keeping an Eye on the Environment

Spring is here. For many of us, that means it's time for a yearly project: spring cleaning. It’s good for your mental health, and your home or office. It can also be good for the environment. Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas to get your space feeling less cluttered and less dusty all while going green.

  Spring is here. For many of us, that means it's time for a yearly project: spring cleaning. It’s good for your mental health, and your home or office. It can also be good for the environment. A recent survey found a whopping 92% of people said they were considering their environmental impact while spring cleaning, with more than half adding they were considering using environmentally friendly cleaning products.   Here are some tips, tricks, and ideas to get your space feeling less cluttered and less dusty all while going green.

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4 Reasons Why Every Small & Medium-Sized Business Should Be Recycling

Recycling benefits your business in more ways than you may think! With advancements in Green Technology, recycling is becoming more accessible and cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses. Read about the top 4 reasons why SMBs should recycle.

  For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), implementing a recycling program may be a project that you’ve always talked about starting - maybe you even began researching solutions - but for whatever reason, recycling always seems to lose its urgency due to other priorities popping up. Or perhaps you feel as though adding recycling services will be too complicated - after all, isn’t it cheaper to throw it all in one dumpster and not worry about it? Actually, no. Here at RoadRunner, we believe that recycling’s not only the right thing to do, but it can also significantly impact your business in a number of positive ways.

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4 Waste & Recycling Trends to Watch in 2022

With tons of trends lists for every industry circulating, it can oftentimes be difficult to sift through them all to know what is most important. That’s why we’ve put together a quick list of predictions for the waste and recycling industry that you can reference as you traverse the year ahead.

  Today, the world moves fast. With the proliferation of technology and speedy innovations, it is getting harder to keep up or predict what the future holds. Moreover, with tons of trends lists for every industry circulating, it can oftentimes be difficult to sift through them all to know what is most important.  That’s why we’ve put together a quick list of trends and predictions for the waste and recycling industry that you can reference as you traverse the year ahead. Read on for more.

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5 Tips for Sustainability Momentum Year-Round

New Year’s resolutions are common for many, but can often become difficult to keep up with as time goes on. For companies who have made sustainability commitments—or, resolutions if you will—read our blog to learn some quick and easy tips to keep the momentum going all year round.

  Each year we as individuals make resolutions for ways we can be better. But as many of us come to find, when February rolls around some of the promises we made to ourselves, or the people around us, have fallen by the wayside. Most often this isn’t a sole person’s fault, but can instead be blamed on the unpredictability of life that easily gets in the way of achieving our goals.  Schedules grow busier, opportunities dwindle, or the expectations we set have become a bit too ambitious. Whatever the reason, New Year’s resolutions usually require some sort of reset along the way. Organizations can be similar. Pledges are made, strategies are finalized, but it’s common that after the momentum from the first of the year passes, some plans fall by the wayside or need to be readjusted.   That’s why, whether you’re a business trying to be more environmentally friendly or an individual trying to recycle more, we wanted to provide some easy tips, backed by RoadRunner’s expertise, to keep your sustainability goals achievable all year-'round.

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What's the Difference Between Upcycling and Downcycling?

For manufacturers and producers, time is money and haste makes waste. But what if time was invested to transform trash into treasure? While recycling is the de facto choice for circularity, many companies are turning to “upcycling” and “downcycling” to reduce burgeoning waste management fees and cut their carbon footprint.

  In American manufacturing, operations make margins by making haste. And all along the products’ life cycles—design to production to consumption—that urgency creates costly waste. It’s no secret that waste is a problem for the United States. Despite accounting for only 4% of the global population, the U.S. accounts for nearly 12% of global waste production and recycles significantly less (about 32%) than any other developed nation. Part of our shortcomings have stemmed from a myopic view of recycling. While the most common form of recycling sees products broken down and formed into the same or similar products, the practices of “upcycling” and “downcycling” have become creative and sustainable ways to employ valuable materials and preserve natural resources. From residual food and textile scraps to plastic bags and old cardboard, the second life for many materials is a fork in the road—and, up or down, both lead to an opportunity to drastically reduce waste.

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The Golden Rules of Recycling

Like learning how to do your taxes and understanding the housing market, the golden rules of recycling were conspicuously absent from most Americans’ formal education. However, learning some basics can improve your business's recycling rate exponentially!

  Like doing your taxes and DIY home improvement, there’s a certain amount of guesswork that goes into Americans’ recycling practices. And like the first two, it comes with consequences. The majority of Americans are ill-prepared, ill-informed, and ill-advised when it comes to recycling, lacking the guiding principles and educational building blocks that form an efficient, successful system. The considerable gap in comprehension contributes to a national recycling rate that’s never topped 35% and a quarter of every collection is lost to contamination. Yet, if every U.S. citizen had committed just a few general principles—or even some bare necessities—to memory the same way we all learned classroom respect and the order of operations (PEMDAS, remember?), America’s recycling system would shine brighter. Fresh out of school or 40 years on the job, it’s never too late to learn the golden rules of recycling.

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TOOLS & GUIDES - NEW!

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Learn how our custom recycling system can work for your business
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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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