Businesses Redefine What 'Waste' Is

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By recycling higher-value waste, such as paper, businesses can afford to participate in more expensive programs, such as composting. Photo: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon

By recycling higher-value waste, such as paper, businesses can afford to participate in more expensive programs, such as composting. Photo: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon

Recycling at home isn’t too tricky. The hardest part, for many of us, is remembering which plastics our recycling providers accept and which ones they don’t — but for most families, recycling is routine.

But what if you’re a business, looking to better manage your waste stream? Regardless of industry, environmentally friendly waste-management is trickier. The bigger and more diversified the business, the trickier it gets.

Take just about any superstore retail chain. With thousands of stores, imagine the cardboard boxes and paper, used motor oil, used cooking oil, scrap tires, expired food, bathroom waste and parking lot trash. Finding vendors to handle this waste just in a single location, not to mention all of their stores, would be at best a logistical nightmare and at worst too costly to consider.

As retailers and other businesses factor in environmental sustainability to their bottom line, this is the challenge they face: How do you manage the waste in an eco-friendly manner without huge operational expenses or raising prices on the products or services you offer?

This is the question that companies bring to Quest Resource Management, the Frisco, Texas-based sister company of Earth911, every day. Since its founding in 2007, Quest has helped its clients divert billions of pounds from landfills while adding millions of dollars to their bottom line and helping them become better corporate citizens.

How?

The answer is so obvious, it’s easy to miss.

Next page: One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

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