Recycle Me; Single Stream, Multi-stream, or Up That Stream Without A Paddle?
Food & Business Tips
When I first heard the terminology of the “recycle stream,” all kinds of visions popped into my head—none of which had anything to do with recycling.
Single stream recycling is just what it sounds like, all of your recyclable items are placed in the same container and then sorted on down the stream by a secondary company and then sold to item specific companies. This is what the lovely town of Irmo (where I live, in case you did not know) has implemented in the nicest lime green curbside containers. I am able to put all kinds of clean items in one container and then they are sorted later and recycled, cutting down on transportation cost and making it easier on me to recycle at home. Well there are also multiple companies in the Midlands who will do the same thing in your business for you. They will provide a container for paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and just about everything else that can be recycled. For a fee they will pick it up and recycle for you. A number of these companies can be found on www.recyclonomicssc.com helping to make recycling easy here is one of those companies www.tomatopalms.com. Did you know that about 300 million plastic containers are disposed of in the Carolinas every year? These bottles represent lost feedstock to local plastics recyclers and lost revenue to local governments and others from the sale of this material. About 75% of plastic bottles are landfilled annually. The Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council Factsheet can help you understand the opportunity for container recycling in the Carolinas.
Multi stream recycling is what we have selected here at Blue Cross by separating the items ourselves and then each item is recycled separately. This is more time intensive on our staff’s part but less in upfront cost.
Plastics recycling; one of those companies we use for plastic containers is www.sonoco.com. We recycle about 600 pounds of plastic containers a month, that’s a lot of plastic.
Paper recycling is a tricky thing. Really, the key here is reuse first, as paper can only be recycled 5 times and then it is of no use. For paper recycling in your area one good resource is http:// screcycles.com/. One of the ways I reuse paper is my adding machine at work, I can print on both sides of the adding machine tape (I know, I know, I still have a flip phone also!) I leave that tape connected as I use it and reroll it as I go then feed it back in backwards. I figure in eight years I have saved 20 rolls of adding machine tape. You can actually use each roll four times if you only add up small numbers but anything over 5 digits tends to run together, see how fun recycling can be?
Finding what works for you and your operation is the best place to start, select one item you can recycle and get your staff involved. You will find once you begin it is easier than you might think and has a benefit to all. For every pound of waste that is not going to a landfill is going into our local economy and into new products for the future.
Thanks, John Lindower