Waste reduction is a great way to lower your trash disposal costs and save money by not purchasing unneeded items. This can be as simple as using a reusable cup and washing it instead of using a disposable one or working with suppliers to receive shipments in reusable transport containers instead of cardboard boxes. Talk to employees about ways your organization can reduce waste in day-to-day operations — such as purchasing, shipping and printing.
Design a program for waste reduction
The most effective waste reduction and reuse programs start with careful planning and a willingness to learn what works best. There is no one right way to develop a program, but the objectives are clear — first reduce as much of your waste as you can, then reuse or recycle.
Managing and Reducing Waste: A Guide for Commercial Buildings provides tools to get started and improve waste management, reduce costs and enhance sustainability.
Shop for used equipment and materials in good working condition from businesses, non-profit organizations and online exchange websites.
Donate or sell items
Donating or offering your used materials and equipment for reuse means you don't have to pay to dispose of them and receive tax benefits for dated items in working condition. As long as the items are in usable and working condition, consider the benefits of giving them away or selling them to other organizations.
Sustainable purchasing means incorporating environmental, economic and social expectations for the products or services your organization buys. Simple examples are switching to 100% post-consumer recycled-content paper or only buying electronics that meet the highest energy and environmental attributes. Learn more at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's website.