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.