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Successful Recycling: Achieving Sustainability Goals

Maintenance Solutions Magazine and at

To ensure a recycling program maximizes its cost-effectiveness, maintenance managers must make certain their staffs perform recycling activities in the safest, most cost-effective manner possible. Achieving those goals means minimizing the work required to meet the organization's recycling target and maximizing the return on investment with the sale of these commodities.

The best way for managers to create, implement and oversee successful recycling programs is to focus on four primary issues.

Materials Matter

Managers first need to target their resources and attention on those materials that will provide the greatest return, such as:

Construction waste. These materials are high weight and more easily recycled than ever. They are a good source of avoided disposal costs because recycling is generally less costly than disposal. They are probably easiest to recycle at a special materials-recovery facility.

Scrap metal. If an institutional or commercial facility generates a large amount of scrap metal, managers could simply be throwing money away by not recycling these materials.

Paper. All institutional and commercial facilities generate paper waste, which is very easy to recycle. These materials generally offer a positive cash value, depending on the volume.

Cans and bottles. The ability to recycle most plastic containers has expanded to include plastic numbers 1-7. They have little value as a mix with glass and aluminum, but they do contribute to cost avoidance.

Printer cartridges. These are just a waste to throw away. Indeed, many have monetary value.

Electronic waste. These products are now mandated as a recyclable in many jurisdictions.

Fluorescent lights. Facilities must recycle them under federal guidelines.

Batteries. Facilities must always recycle rechargeable batteries and lead acid batteries. Some vendors will pay for these items.

Plastic film. The market for plastic film is expanding. Facilities that generate large volumes, such as packaging houses and supermarkets, might be able to market this material..

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Project Spotlight

Recycling & Solid Waste Management

New Jersey Essex County Hub:
Is it all a Waste? »

Construction & Demolition Recycling Association:
Recycling Certification Hits the Empire State »

Maintenance Solutions Magazine:
Successful Recycling: Achieving Sustainability Goals »

The State of New Jersey:
Recycling & Conservation Consulting »

Pemberton Township Public Schools:
Recycling Education at Pemberton Township Public Schools »

Montclair State University:
Campus Recycling Program at Montclair State University »

City of Paterson:
Paterson Recycling Schedule »

Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity - enough energy to power the average American home for five months.

Environmental Protection Agency

Contact DeFeo Associates now to start reducing your impact on the environment and save money TODAY.