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What Does Zero Landfill Status Mean For Your Brand?

Improve Your Company’s Image By Achieving Zero Landfill Status

zero waste initiatives chicago

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Today’s consumers are more conscious than ever about the products they buy. Where they’re made, what materials and ingredients go into them, if they’re recycled, organic or otherwise earth-friendly. And why shouldn’t they be? Brands have seen the trend picking up speed, know that consumers vote with their dollars, and realize that taking initiatives to become more environmentally conscious will go a long way toward improving brand sentiment and image.

Some brands have the ultimate goal of achieving a zero landfill status – and many already have. Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved in zero landfill, what type of companies can realistically achieve it, and what it means for your company’s image.

What Is Zero Landfill – Or Zero Waste?

It sounds impossible, but zero landfill is just that: zero waste goes to a landfill or incinerator. Technically, the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) guideline is that a business must reduce their waste’s impact to landfills, incinerators and the environment by 90% or more. Meaning, as much as 10% of their waste may still be disposed of by traditional means. Still, that’s quite the accomplishment for businesses who achieve the status.

Zero waste initiatives can be adopted by both individuals and businesses, and the general idea is that there is a plan for every single discarded item to be reduced, reused or recycled.

For example:

  • All waste is sorted for recycling; where curbside pick-up is not available, there is a plan to get the materials to a local processing facility.
  • Food scraps are composted.
  • Disposable items like paper plates, forks, cups and napkins simply are not used; plastic forks and cup may be washed of food particles and recycled.
  • In manufacturing, an emphasis is placed on minimizing waste during the production process, and all scrap materials are recycled.
  • In professional settings, an office goes “paperless,” moving all their digital files to the cloud, and makes all other efforts to recycle, reduce and reuse resources.
  • At home, worn clothes and housewares are donated or upcycled and food is purchased in bulk. Cleaning and personal care products are homemade in reusable containers using sustainable, natural ingredients.

What Businesses Can Achieve Zero Landfill?

ANY type of business can strive to achieve zero landfill status! ZWIA gives the following list, which is general enough that it easily accommodates any industry:

  • Institutions – government facilities, schools/colleges/universities, hospitals and medical facilities, and prisons, etc.
  • Commercial – retail stores, banks and professional offices, restaurants, hotels and real estate developers.
  • Industrial businesses – car manufacturers, factories, and plants.
  • Venues and Events – sporting stadiums and concert halls.
  • Non-governmental organizations and Social Enterprises – nonprofit and charitable organizations that benefit society.

Notable brands that have achieved zero landfill status include: Subaru, Bigelow Tea, Continental Tires, Proctor & Gamble, and many more.

Will Zero Landfill Improve Your Company Image?

Working toward zero waste to landfill operations is a notable cause even if no one is watching you. However, brands who demonstrate a commitment to environmental protection and sustainability tend to have a more loyal following and positive brand sentiment – which ultimately results in more business.

Combined Resources Can Help You Achieve Zero Landfill

If your Chicago area business is looking to launch a zero landfill initiative, or if you just want to reduce your environmental impact by adding a recycling program, CRI can help. We offer a comprehensive analysis of your operations, waste, and waste management to create a plan for reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible. Call us at 855-782-8490 or visit www.combinedresources.us to learn more about our industrial recycling services.

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