Diversion is one of the keys to a successful recycling program; every bit of weight you subtract from your trash saves you money on your solid waste hauling bill. And since food manufacturers generate large quantities of valuable recyclables, a well optimized program can create a significant revenue stream. You probably already recycle your cardboard and plastic film and shrink wrap, but there's always more you can do to save money. Here are 5 don't-miss recycling opportunities we've found are often overlooked at food manufacturing plants:
Plastic buckets are made from HDPE and are valued by weight. HDPE is commonly and easily recyclable, and there's always value for your empties. The simplest way to handle them is also the best - just nest your empties inside each other and stack them on pallets.
Just like plastic buckets, those 55 gallon plastic barrels in which you receive ingredients and chemicals are made from HDPE and so are also worth cash. Buy a low-cost drum crusher to turn them into pancakes - it makes them much easier to deal with. Once crushed, stack them on a pallet.
You can use the same crusher for your metal barrels.
EPS (expanded polystyrene, or styrofoam) is highly recyclable AND in demand. It can be remade into new packing material or used for other purposes from door frames to safety helmets to construction insulation. Volume is key to EPS recycling. It's 98 percent air, so you have to condense it immediately to save space. An EPS compactor becomes cost-effective if you generate about one trailer load per month of compacted volume.
Pallets are always worth keeping out of your solid waste stream. saves you money to keep pallets out of your solid waste stream. Depending on the condition, they're worth between 1.50 and 15.00 each. If you have the space and volume, it makes the most sense to spot a dedicated trailer. A 53' trailer, properly loaded (pallets should be turned on end and double stacked) holds 660 pallets and weighs 35,000 pounds. Find out more about pallets here.
Composting keeps garbage weight low. Nationally, food waste is the single largest component of landfills, making up 15 percent of the volume. If you divert that 15 percent out of your trash and into compost, you're immediately saving 15% off of your trash bill. If you don't have the resources to invest in composting the material yourself, there are commerical composters you can partner with who will take that weight off your hands.
Federal International works with customers toward the same goals: increased revenues, great service and integrity. Unlike many recycling companies, we stirve to make money by increasing revenues.