Green Foodservice Alliance

Recycling

Recycling is a significant component of the waste reduction process. Most communities have access to the recycling of common recyclables such as paper, cardboard, plastics bottles (#1&#2), metal cans, aluminum cans and glass bottles.  

WHY?

  • Recycling these products reduces the amount of waste going to the landfill.
  • Making new products from recyclables saves energy in the manufacturing process.
  • Recycling creates jobs and supports the local economy.

THE LOCAL PICTURE:

  • $250 million of commonly recycled materials such as cardboard, aluminum, and plastics are being disposed of in Georgia’s landfills each year.  
  • The lost market value of materials that could be recycled is estimated at a $90 million cost.
  • Georgia is home to a wide array of businesses that use recycled materials to manufacture their products.
  • There is a higher than average demand for recyclables in Georgia by companies that make them into new products.

Facts to Consider:

  • Paper and cardboard collection programs allow for the following “paper” items: newsprint, magazines, corrugated cardboard, phone books, chipboard, white and colored paper, mail, and office paper. The paper must be reasonably free of food residue.
  • Most waste hauling contracts charge on a per ton and per pull basis. Recycling reduces both the number of pulls and weight per pull, thus reducing the amount charged by the waste hauling company.
  • Recycling companies charge to haul the recyclables away. Depending on the value of the recyclables, a rebate will reduce the cost when compared to hauling waste. Sometimes the rebate is built into the price of the service.

Questions to Consider:

  • Do I generate enough recyclables to designate an 8 cubic yard dumpster or compactor for the sole collection of recyclables?
  • What type of space do I have available for collection of recyclables, both in the kitchen and outside?
  • Does my current vendor provide recycling services?
  • By expanding my recycling program, how does that reduce my waste collection costs?
  • How can I educate my staff and customers about my new recycling program?

BENEFITS:

  • Decreased tonnage going to the landfill
  • Customers are demanding recycling options
  • Ability to market sustainable practices
  • Increased staff morale associated with green practices

CHALLENGES:

  • Landfill tipping fees are low in Georgia.
  • Some businesses may have limited space for recycling containers.
  • An employee training program must be developed for a successful recycling program.
  • Support must be given from the management level.
 
 
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