Recycling for Business

Many businesses are seeking ways to reduce waste and conserve natural resources.

At Waste Management, we’re helping them achieve the cost-savings and efficiencies, along with the environmental benefits, that come from recycling regularly and wisely.

We offer two ways to help your business Think Green® every day:

  • Customized recycling programs. Let Waste Management tailor a program for your company based on the types and volumes of materials you need to dispose of. We are well equipped to manage everything from construction and demolition debris, to manufacturing byproducts, to everyday office materials and kitchen waste.
  • Single-stream recycling programs. Unlike traditional recycling in which materials must be sorted into separate containers, single-stream recycling lets you put all your recyclables into a single bin. Paper products, plastic containers, and everything from soda cans to clear and colored glass can all be mixed together. The three broad categories below provide a glimpse of the recycling possibilities available to you. There are many others, even for materials you may have had difficulty recycling in the past.

Single-Stream Recycling Works for Business

Every area of business generates waste. Following are a few examples of how various departments can put single-stream recycling to work for them. One of our Sustainability Solutions experts would be glad to tell you more and discuss the needs of your particular business area.

 General Office Recycling

Shipping and Receiving Departments

Office Kitchens, Commercial Kitchens and Restaurants

General Office Recycling

Even with emails and instant messaging, most business offices still use a lot of paper. The good news is that practically any product or package made of paper can be recycled, and so can metal and plastic beverage containers. Best of all, with single-stream recycling, you can toss everything into the same bin.

Do’s

  • Any type of office paper, even with staples and paper clips attached
  • Junk mail
  • Envelopes (with or without stamps and widows)
  • Cardboard
  • Phone books
  • Catalogs
  • Manila folders
  • Snack boxes (without food scraps attached)
  • Magazines (without wrappers)
  • Bottles made of #1 or #2 plastic
  • Aluminum beverage cans

Don’ts

  • Waxed paper
  • Food-contaminated paper (like a cheese-encrusted pizza box)
  • Some items, like three-ring binders, may or may not be accepted. Check with your Waste Management rep to be sure.
  • Foam cups or packing materials cups and other materials made of polystyrene are usually not accepted in single-stream recycling programs.

Ask Us About

  • Three-ring binders may or may not be accepted. Check with your Waste Management rep to be sure.

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Shipping and Receiving Departments

The shipping and receiving areas of your business provide even more opportunities to put single-stream recycling to work.

Do’s

  • Flattened cardboard boxes, even if they have shipping labels, metal staples and tape on them
  • Paper packing materials
  • Cardboard packing materials
  • Aluminum beverage cans

Don’ts

  • Waxed paper
  • Food-contaminated paper (like a cheese-encrusted pizza box)
  • Some items, like three-ring binders, may or may not be accepted. Check with your Waste Management rep to be sure.
  • Foam peanuts and polystyrene packing materials. Suggestion: Collect and save them to use in your own company’s outbound shipping needs

Ask Us About

  • Bubble wrap and plastic cushioning are sometimes accepted for recycling
  • Packing strips can be collected separately and recycled in bulk

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Office Kitchens, Commercial Kitchens and Restaurants

Every kitchen — from the small one in an office to a large-scale commercial or restaurant kitchen —has plenty of opportunities to put single-stream recycling into action.

Do’s

Important: Be sure to clean food off these items before recycling them: 

  • Paper
  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • Cereal boxes
  • Paper bags
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Milk and juice cartons (rinsed out)
  • Aluminum beverage cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Aluminum trays
  • Aluminum pans
  • Clear glass containers (labels okay)
  • Colored glass containers (labels okay)
  • Plastics: Containers made of #1 and #2 plastic (milk jugs, water bottles, juice containers, detergent containers, bleach containers)

Don’ts

  • Waxed paper
  • Food-contaminated paper (like a cheese-encrusted pizza box)
  • Some items, like three-ring binders, may or may not be accepted. Check with your Waste Management rep to be sure.
  • Foam cups or packing materials cups and other materials made of polystyrene are usually not accepted in single-stream recycling programs.

Ask Us About

  • Items made of #3 through #7 may or may not be accepted. Check with your Waste Management rep to be sure.

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