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Business Composting & Waste Prevention

In select areas, Waste Management offers commercial composting collection services. To see if composting is available in your area, select your city or county.

Did you know that up to 30% of commercial garbage is composed of food and compostable material?

Composting with Waste Management allows your business to keep food scraps and food-soiled papers out of the landfill. At a commercial composting facility, they turn into nutrient rich compost for healthy gardens.

Setting up Workplace Composting

  1. Form a green team

    A group of employees interested in composting and waste prevention that sets up and monitors collection systems to ensure ongoing success.
  2. Do a deep dive to find compostables

    Take a good look at what's going into your garbage. Common compostables you'll see include:

    • Waxed cardboard
    • Coffee filters and grounds
    • Food scraps
    • Plant and floral trimmings
    • Untreated wood scraps
  3. Contact your business or property manager

    Find out if compost collection is set up. If not, ask for collection and remind your manager that composting can reduce waste disposal costs. If service is set up, discuss how to increase visibility and participation.|
  4. Contact Waste Management

    Set up collection by calling 1 800 808-5901.
  5. Coordinate Green Team and janitorial service

    Select and distribute collection containers to kitchens, lunchrooms, garden centers and anywhere compost is generated.

    • Label containers. Contact us to order labels.
    • Work with janitorial staff to set a daily collection schedule for collecting compostables from work stations.
    • Determine who'll collect compostables, and ensure that they're thoroughly trained.
    • Monitor containers and procedures to keep compostables separated from garbage.
  6. Education and motivate staff

    • Distribute guidelines to employees and janitorial staff, and post updates.
    • Grab attention with a launch event.
    • Send a memo encouraging participation.
    • Set aside time for questions and answers.
    • Schedule orientation sessions for individual departments.
  7. Maintain and expand green programs

    • Have your Green Team meet regularly to evaluate progress.
    • Implement other sustainable practices, including prevention, energy conservation and alternative transportation.
    • Encourage staff with periodic composting tips and updates.
    • Educate new employees about composting.
    • Appoint someone to answer staff questions, manage the Green Team and oversee green procedures.
    • Always mention composting practices in company promotional pieces.

Waste Prevention at Work

By reducing waste, your business can conserve valuable resources and may be able to decrease the size of your garbage container.

Before you buy, use or discard an item, ask yourself:

  • Reduce: Can I buy this product with less packaging?
  • Reuse: Can I or someone else use this again?
  • Recycle: Can I recycle this after I use it?
  • Buy Recycled: Can I get this item with recycled content?

Paper Reduction Tips:

  • Set all printers to print double sided by default
  • Make computer files whenever possible instead of printing hard copies of documents
  • Have each staff person set aside paper that they use on only one side so that it can be reused for printing drafts in your printer or glued together to make scratch pads
  • Make fewer copies- print only what you need
  • Use outdated letterhead for in house memos
  • Reroute or circulate memos, periodicals and reports rather than distributing individual copies
  • Remove your name from junk mail lists. Click here for more information.

Waste Reduction Tips:

  • Switch off computer monitors and lights when you leave for lunch or meetings. Screensavers do not save energy.
  • Buy items in bulk with minimal packaging. Use durable dishware and silverware in the break room, kitchen and at office events.
  • Reuse items in good condition. Donate what you don't need.
  • Use environmentally friendly packing material such as shredded paper instead of bubble wrap or foam peanuts. Reuse packing materials when you get them
  • Select products from suppliers and manufactures that use minimal packaging.
  • Before discarding any office supplies, check around and see if anyone else could use them. Establish a mini waste exchange in your office using a storage closet or cabinet. Let others know that they should check the waste exchange for office supplies before buying new supplies.
  • Rent, borrow, and share items used infrequently.