How and Why Your Small Business Should Be Recycling Paper

recycling paper small business

In today’s business landscape, recycling paper in small businesses is more relevant than ever. Despite best efforts to minimize paper use, it’s almost inevitable for any business to accumulate paper waste.

Rather than merely discarding it, your business can recycle it. Beyond being a simple process, recycling paper offers a plethora of benefits. Read on to discover key insights on how your small business can embark on this eco-friendly journey.

recycling paper small business

Waste Savings

Recycling paper stands as a testimony to sustainable practices. The ease with which it can be executed is highlighted by the fact that a staggering 96 percent of Americans can easily recycle paper via curbside pickup or local drop-off facilities, according to Paper Recycles.

While it’s true that some curbside pickup services might levy minor charges, the alternative – simply discarding paper – carries its own costs. Most businesses already pay for waste disposal.

Here lies an intriguing financial perspective: by reducing the volume of waste paper your business generates, you might unlock the possibility of negotiating reduced fees with your waste management providers. Particularly for businesses with high paper consumption, the potential savings here can be substantial.

recycling paper small business

More Materials for Paper Goods

The life cycle of paper doesn’t end once it’s discarded; recycling gives it a renewed purpose. Astonishingly, paper can be repurposed and reincarnated into new paper products roughly seven times before requiring more intensive processing.

The ripple effect of your recycling endeavors is far-reaching. By sending paper to recycling facilities, you’re essentially bolstering the inventory of raw materials available for paper goods production.

In a cyclical twist, this might mean that the very paper you recycle today could find its way back to your business as a recycled product in the future.

recycling paper small business

Energy Savings

Beyond just waste minimization and contribution to paper goods, there’s an overarching environmental advantage tied to paper recycling: energy conservation. Crafting fresh paper straight from virgin sources consumes more energy than producing paper from recycled materials.

This energy-efficient approach does wonders for our planet by decreasing resource consumption and reducing carbon footprints.

Furthermore, for the paper manufacturing industry, leaning into recycled materials can streamline operations, resulting in cost savings and a sustainable production cycle in the longer term.
recycling paper small business

How to Recycle Paper

Recycling paper is relatively simple, but ensuring that you’re doing it correctly is essential for maximum effectiveness. Should your neighborhood offer a curbside service, it makes the process even easier.

Simply obtain the designated bin for paper products, and place it outside your establishment on the designated days. However, remember to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and guidelines associated with your local service.

Some services might be restrictive, only accepting items such as loose paper, while others might have a more extensive acceptance list that includes newspapers and an assortment of mixed paper items.

If curbside service isn’t available to you, don’t be discouraged. Local recycling facilities are a viable alternative, with the vast majority accepting various paper goods. Take the time to research the nearest facility to you and understand their specific requirements or limitations.

For businesses, introducing a recycling program might necessitate additional preparatory steps compared to an individual or household setting up. Given the larger volume of paper waste businesses generate, establishing a systematic, easy-to-follow process is crucial.

Consider designating specific areas or bins for paper recycling, and educate your staff about the importance and methods of proper paper recycling. Periodic reminders and incentives can further promote and solidify the practice within your organization.

This not only helps the environment but can also foster a sense of collective responsibility and pride among team members.

As you gear up to launch or revamp your office’s paper recycling program, it’s crucial to ensure that you’ve ticked all the necessary boxes. The following checklist will assist you in setting up an efficient recycling system.

Action ItemDone (?)
Verify local recycling services and their guidelines
Obtain bins for paper products
Label bins (e.g., loose paper, newspapers, mixed)
Place bins in accessible locations around the office
Train staff on recycling protocols
Schedule regular pickups or drop-offs

To do this, specify bins around your office, preferably in convenient locations, where people can place various paper goods for recycling. For example, you might have one just for loose paper, one for newspapers and one for mixed paper. Then you can send in those items through the avenue of your choice.

Benefits of Recycling Paper

  • Waste savings and potential reductions in waste removal costs.
  • Providing more materials for paper goods.
  • Energy savings and environmental benefits.

Recycle Bin Photo via Shutterstock

More in:

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.