9 Fun Facts About Commercial Waste

Commercial waste isn’t all about breaking down cardboard and recycling paper. If you’re a property owner or facility manager running a corporate campus, retail center, chain of restaurants or any other type of commercial property, share these facts next time someone asks you about your industry.

1. About 70% of the total waste generated by office buildings consists of mixed paper products. This includes everything from junk mail to packaging, presentations, handouts, billing, printed records, drafts of documents and more. (This is why paper recycling can make such a difference!)

2. About 30% of all printed material in offices are never picked up from the printer. That’s right, all that paper sits in the tray until someone throws it away or it’s recycled. (How many times have you found mystery print jobs stacked near a printer?)

3. Typical office workers use about 500 coffee cups each year. Most of these are sent to landfills. A single office building may throw away hundreds of thousands of coffee cups every single year. Encourage employees to reduce waste by giving away or providing non-disposable coffee mugs. Coffee mugs make excellent holiday and birthday gifts, and an annual investment in non-disposable mugs can even save money compared to buying thousands of paper cups. 

4. About 70% of commercial waste can be recycled. If your facility isn’t recycling, then you’re likely spending more money than you should on garbage disposal. Contact your commercial waste vendor to find out how your facility can start recycling. 

5. 90% of American businesses recycle. Luckily, most property owners and managers got the memo on this one. Recycling helps you control waste disposal costs, and it’s good for the environment. If you want to claim your facility is “green,” one of the first steps is maintaining a recycling program.  

6. The U.S. population discards enough aluminum to rebuild the U.S. commercial air fleet about four times. Aluminum cans are one of the easiest materials to recycle. Bonus fact: recycling just two aluminum cans saves enough energy to run a computer for a whole workday. 

7. Most laptops are never recycled. However, if businesses in the United States would recycle just one million of their old laptops, that would save enough energy to power 3,600 homes in the United States. Laptop recycling is offered by many recycling programs. Talk to your commercial waste vendor to find out more about recycling laptops and other electronics. 

8. Each year, Americans throw away enough office paper to build a wall about 12 feet high, extending from Los Angeles to New York. You can avoid throwing out office paper by placing recycling bins around the office and reminding staff to recycle their paper. (Make sure there’s at least one by the printer!)

9. Better information leads to more recycling. Most people aren’t aware of all the commercial waste that could be recycled instead of thrown in the trash. Items like light bulbs, printer cartridges, old devices, batteries, cardboard, aluminum cans, magazines, and even old fabric banners and clothing can be recycled! If people in your facility don’t know what can be recycled, they may be throwing away hundreds of pounds of recyclable waste every year. Your commercial waste vendor can help you figure out how to expand your recycling efforts and save money while you save the earth.

Want to upgrade your commercial waste service? Give us a call to find out how we can help you streamline your recycling and waste. Our commercial waste division helps hundreds of property owners and facility managers handle their waste and recycling every day.

Ask Angela: portable toilets for camping

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS Waste Solutions. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Angela, we’re going camping for a family reunion and there are going to be a lot of us camping in one place—all ages—with no facilities nearby. Can we take a portable toilet camping?

Great question. It’s one we hear every year, especially since “glamping” became a thing. We also get this question from scout troops. The answer is probably, with some caveats. It depends on where you’re camping and the type of terrain.

You could always purchase small, portable camping toilets from an outdoors store or online, but that’s not going to give you privacy, and you’ll be left with bags of waste to clean up. I’m guessing you want something that operates more like a traditional porta potty or restroom trailer.

There are several porta potty options available, including larger ADA-compliant toilets and restroom trailers with shower stalls. Depending on how many people you’ll have, and the size of the location, you could go with a delivered trailer, a traditional porta potty, or there are even tow-able portable toilets on flatbed trailers that you can tow to the site yourself.

When deciding on what to rent, keep in mind a delivery truck will need to access the area (unless you’re towing it yourself). Also, you don’t mention whether you’ll be on private land or a state or federal park. Either way you’ll need permission to park a toilet on your campground.

Some public parks will allow you to bring portable toilet trailers, but you need to check with the park services department. There may be permits and fees involved. And if they do allow porta potties, they may have specific requirements for placement and features. For example, beaches will most likely require a protective base to prevent any leaks from getting into the sand. Always check with the location before you rent a toilet to make sure you’ll be allowed to bring it with you.

Another consideration is access to water and electricity. If you rent a restroom trailer, you’ll more than likely need access to both. For large units like these, it may require an extra fee if they need to manually change out the water and sewage tanks. Be sure to find out what’s available near near the campsite and what you’ll need to deliver or service the toilet.

Taking a portable toilet camping is doable, you just need to do a little planning beforehand. Have a great family reunion! And give us a call if you need help finding the right product for your site.