Waste isn't just litter on the side of the road
Every step of the process requires it's own sacrifice of energy, water, and habitat, and generates its own waste material. Processing and finishing waste averages 70 times the weight or volume of a product, but the consumed energy, water and habitat compounds the hidden costs of waste.
talk about the bigger picture
In Wisconsin, mountains of trash are cheap and easy to build. Waste doesn't have to go far to find one. Except for a few materials, there is little cost difference between landfilling and recycling.
Efforts to divert waste from the landfill can be hard to justify based on disposal cost alone, so reduction is a key strategy for many. Savings are almost always hundreds of times higher if a material isn't purchased in the first place.
Beyond direct costs, understanding the broader impact of wasteful practices can help a business or institution value the effects of its actions on its customers, community and supply chain. There are tools and rules of thumb that can be used to estimate the greater economic and environmental impacts of your waste. The EPA's WARM model estimates atmospheric impacts, energy savings and job creation trends. At WasteCap we also like to note any water and habitat savings estimates that can be made as well.
START MEASURING TODAY
Set improvement goals based on the values that strike the strongest cord within an organization. Any goal to improve waste diversion (the percentage of material kept out of landfills) should also include material reduction efforts. Benchmark waste quantities against the key performance indicators that drive the numbers - total occupant hours, widgets produced, or shipments moved, for example.
Determining success isn't possible however without data. You can't manage what you don't measure, and you can't assume you're succeeding if you don't know the facts.
invite a professional to review your operations
Most of the companies that reach out to WasteCap already have a commitment to do better, be it for their shareholders, their employees, their community or their customers. Sometimes they are just starting their journey to improve their diversion rate, others are seeking help with zero waste certification. They all believe they are doing an great job, and it took them a leap of faith to ask for an outside opinion. For that they were always rewarded.
Zero waste professionals like those at WasteCap are able to quickly cover basic principles and common sources of errors. These initial cursory audits can reveal a lot in a short amount of time. Once the gaps are identified, you can build up an appropriate response that delivers the best returns for your particular values.
Reducing waste isn't a quick or easy journey, but there are plenty of us here who can help.
On your own, every purchase you make and every piece of material you throw away makes a small impact on the resources wasted locally and around the world.
By working together we can move markets, create jobs, keep our communities healthy, and preserve the beauty of Wisconsin.
Please consider WasteCap in ways large and small this season, and beyond, with these simple options.
Tell corporations who you support:
*The same site with the same deals.
*A portion of every purchase goes to the non-profit of your choice.
*Please use smile.amazon.com and select WasteCap as your non-profit!
Donate directly to make an impact:
*Expands our material and economic research.
*Helps us reach out to new audiences.
*Supports internships and education opportunities.
*Improves waste reduction tools for the public.
*Enables us to advise local and national efforts to reduce waste to landfill.
Become a member to move markets:
*Send WasteCap to speak at conferences and advocate change.
*Sponsor the next generation of interns changing the world.
*Solve Wisconsin's need for food security, local energy, and
greenhouse gas reduction through better use of organic waste.
*Give Wisconsin students the opportunity to deconstruct a
building slated for the landfill and take those materials back to
their art and trade classes.
*Increase Wisconsin's use of recycled material, purity of material
streams, and options for reuse and recycling.
*Create a reuse and recycling directory for Wisconsin.
Or we can simply provide you or your company with insight, resources, and a helping hand on your waste reduction journey.
Microsoft Uses an Old Idea to Get to 90% Waste Reduction
Material Reuse DOES HAVE Its Hazards
RESOURCES TO PUSH Enhanced Producer Responsibility
Placing the responsibility to recycle entirely on the user only gets us part of the way towards a circular economy. Market forces aren’t enough to make producers consider their material choices, and so many locales are turning to EPR regulations as a way to hold producers accountable for the products they put into the market
For EPR to work, though, it has to be done right. Some of our current programs simply end up as a mandated upcharge that producers simply pocket with no actual requirement to reduce waste. Others have worked as intended for decades, like the bottle and can deposits requirements. More needs to be done. If you want to see more corporate responsibility, these resources can help you convince your state politicians to keep us moving forward.
All interested candidates should send a (1) cover letter and (2) resume by email or mail to:
Rob Schaefer (Business Manager)
WasteCap Resource Solutions, Inc.
2123 W. Michigan St. Suite 100
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Stay up-to-date on the latest waste reduction practices, innovations, tips & tricks on recycling, member spotlights, and industry news.