Skip to content
Recycling // Thought Leadership // Waste Industry

Waste Management: What It Is And 4 Ways Your Business Can Do Better

What is waste management? We’re breaking down what it means and we have 4 ways your business can do a better job.

Bradford Arick | December 1, 2022


Finding the best way for your business to deal with its waste might not seem that important on the surface. However, being responsible with your waste management can be incredibly impactful to your company.

The United States generates more waste than any other nation on the planet, creating more than 292 million tons a year. Making the time to find out how much waste your business generates, where it goes, and how much you’re paying can help you meet your sustainability goals and even save some cash.

So what is waste management? We’re breaking down what it means and we have 4 ways your business can do a better job.

Check out the ABCs of Waste Management by clicking here!


The simple answer to this question is that waste management includes all processes, programs, equipment, and activities related to handling waste materials. Waste management for a business can involve recycling programs, waste reduction strategies, pieces of equipment, transportation companies, pickup schedules, end destinations for materials, and multiple accounts in varying locations.

Several examples of waste generated by businesses include:

• Paper

• Plastic wraps and films

• Product packaging

• Cardboard

• Food and organics

That’s far and away not a complete list, but it shows the types of waste businesses generate can vary widely. That waste can be landfilled, incinerated, recycled, composted, and/or used to create various forms of gas. 

Challenges can arise when it comes time to find the best solutions for dealing with different types of waste.

READ MORE: Recycling Myths, Busted

4 ways your business can better manage waste


1. Conduct A Waste Audit

Understanding the waste your business produces and how it gets dealt with gives you crucial information to accurately measure the effectiveness of your waste management program. What is thrown out? How much material is recycled? Which locations are filling up faster than others? Do employees understand how your waste management program works? Once you understand the intricacies of your program, you can then begin to explore solutions that make the most sense for your unique company. 

Simply sending all of your waste to the landfill might not be the most cost-effective solution for your business. Adding another recycling bin in a new location could make it easier for workers to utilize. These are the types of solutions a waste audit can help uncover.


2. Establish A Recycling Program That Works

Recycling prevents nearly 70 million tons of waste from being thrown into landfills each year. Establishing a recycling program for your business that works for your facilities, employees, and the types of waste generated can go a long way toward diverting waste from the landfill. Diversion reduces pollution and cuts greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing through the supply chain. Recycling can save money for your business by lowering the cost to haul your trash away. These programs look good to investors in many cases as it shows your business is working to mitigate climate-related risks. 

Incorporating recycling into the overall waste management program is another way to work toward meeting sustainability goals.


3. Ensure You're Right-Sizing Your Waste Equipment

Are your dumpsters too big or too small? Ensuring your business has the best equipment for your waste management program can often save money and improve efficiency. If your dumpsters are too big, you’re paying for space that isn’t getting utilized. If the dumpster is too small, your waste could overflow. Many haulers won’t service overflowing bins and it could result in you having to pay extra fees for disposal. 

Your waste audit should give you the information to make the right decisions on the sizes and types of equipment your waste management program needs. It will also tell you if you need to right-size the number of pickups or services to the equipment at your business.


4. Consider Supply Chains

More than 90% of the environmental impacts for most companies come from the supply chain. Consider the origin of materials for your business, their transportation, packaging, and the distribution to retailers and customers. Taking a hard look at the supply chains for your business means looking into processes generating waste. Can they be redesigned so that waste is recyclable or reusable? Are there ways to cut carbon emissions while saving time and energy during transportation? Which packaging options might better serve your customers and your green goals? Looking at your supply chains can help your business be more sustainable and often saves money.



Having a greater understanding of what makes up waste management and what types of waste your business is dealing with means you take efficiency seriously. This information offers the best knowledge to create a waste management program that works best for your operations. It can be the most efficient, most cost-effective way for your company.

That is exactly what RoadRunner set out to do from the beginning. We’re helping clients from coast to coast do a better job every day. Let our powerful green technology go to work for your business, helping you reach your sustainability goals and, in many cases, saving you money. Our dedicated teams take care of the heavy lifting of your customized waste management plans. 

RoadRunner takes on the headaches so you can get back to what you do best: running your business.



Let's get the conversation started on how to drive recycling and cost savings for your business.