Ever since Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox got together back in 1984 to release the book “The Goal”, it became almost universally clear that the ultimate goal of any business is to make money. While that was likely always the case, it kind of got buried over the years under shifting management fads and ancillary things we do to reach that real ultimate goal. Since the goal is to make money, we have two choices of how to do that: we can increase revenue or decrease expenses. Those looking to decrease expenses may want to take a closer look at how to save money with recycling.
How Can a Company Effectively Save Money With Recycling?
It wasn’t so long ago that recycling programs were just money sinks, requiring more costs—including opportunity costs from the time lost setting up such programs—to be truly effective. Now, there are ways to directly generate cost savings by way of recycling, if it’s done correctly.
Incoming salvage. This is easily one of the biggest ways to save money with recycling. Whether you take advantage of a paper clip from incoming mail, or reuse foam packing peanuts used to protect incoming and outgoing shipments, using what others have already sent you is a great cost-saving measure. Why buy foam packing yourself, when you can simply use the last package’s packing contents?
Bulk ordering. This may not seem like recycling on the surface, but by simply using less packaging, you can contribute to the green effects while also enjoying the cost savings. Bulk ordering opens up the possibility of discounted orders, which is a direct cost saving. However, this doesn’t work with everything, so you’ll have to be judicious. But if there’s something you already know you use a lot of, on a daily basis, consider ordering it in bulk to contribute to principles of recycling while also saving money.
Look at refurbished equipment. Refurbished office equipment is often available at significant cost savings over brand new equipment. Of course, some might be concerned about end-of-life issues, but the recent growth in the third-party hardware maintenance market has certainly helped. This allows equipment that no longer has its original warranty, or even any kind of support from the manufacturer, to still be useful. This is due to maintenance support that’s every bit as good as the original manufacturer, and that’s also supported by contractual obligation known as a service-level agreement (SLA).
Optimize waste hauling services. This is actually a common approach employed by senior care facilities. Those who engage in recycling programs commonly have less waste that goes to a landfill. Thus, it becomes possible to renegotiate a waste hauling agreement to the point where waste is hauled off less often. Any service that’s used less represents an excellent opportunity to generate cost savings.
Sell your trash. Did you know that your waste stream may be the raw material for another organization? By selling your trash to the right buyer, your business will contribute positively to its green efforts by recycling material you no longer want or need. Avoid the landfill and sell your unwanted material to the buyer that can truly make good use of it. A third-party waste management provider such as Edge Insights can help you find the right buyers for your waste stream.
Commit to Sustainability. This one could be a hard sell, but it comes backed by some significant data. A Harvard Business School study examined 180 different companies over an 18-year period and found that firms that focused on “sustainability” actually outperformed those who didn’t, based on overall stock price and accounting principles. A range of possibilities enters here; for example, the improved optics a recycling program generates to potential customers are valuable. This is supported by the recent Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, which found that 66% of respondents would pay more for “sustainable goods”.
How to Get Help Trying to Save Money With Recycling
If you like the thought of saving money with recycling, then there’s a fairly simple way to start. Incorporating cost consulting services can certainly help, and of course, you can reach out to us at Edge Insights for extra assistance. Our own line of cost consulting services in the waste cost management arena can bring you up to 60% in savings on waste management costs, whether you’ve got paper, plastic, or medical waste to handle. Check out our “going green” checklist to see if you’re ready for a full recycling program. Recycling is no longer a minor cost of doing business; now it’s a potential cost savings vector. And with a little help from us, it’s a cost savings vector you can put to work today.