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Case Studies and Resources

Helen Kelley

Recent Posts by Helen Kelley:

Are You Ready to Join the Zero Waste Movement?

Retail and food-service operations as well as some municipalities across the country are making the move toward reducing their wastes and demonstrating their commitment to environmental responsibility through zero waste initiatives. These programs divert waste from landfills through recycling efforts, charitable donations and more.

Topics: waste management retailers restaurants

How Green Grows Your Restaurant? Create a Plan for Your Current and Future Sustainability

As national awareness of environmental responsibility grows, so has that of the business sector — notably the restaurant industry. In fact, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) estimates that 82% of the country’s restaurants now participate in recycling and sustainability efforts, with an eye on continuously implementing new practices that will help them operate more efficiently in ways that also benefit the environment.

Topics: waste management sustainability restaurants food waste food waste reduction food service Food packaging

Proaction, Preparation Are Keys to Food Waste Disposal Compliance

As landfills become increasingly overburdened, there is a growing movement in America to prevent large amounts of food waste generated by commercial operations from being disposed at these sites. States and cities across the country are passing legislation to place limits on the amounts and ways in which commercial organic waste is disposed. 

Topics: recycling Composting restaurants trash hauling food waste food waste reduction organic waste food waste regulations food service landfill anaerobic digestion aerobic digestion

Go Environmentally Proactive and Raise Your Company's Profile

As federal and state regulations regarding recycling practices and disposal of wastes increase, businesses would be wise to go environmentally proactive, says Michael Mintz, CEO of Waste Cost Solutions. Citing California's passage last year of a Mandatory Commercial Recycling law in an effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions, he notes that businesses around the country would be wise to plan in advance for the possibility of environmental legislation in their own communities.

"When you look at the growing number of state and federal laws regarding both commercial and residential waste management, it's easy to see that environmental responsibility is not just a 'nice idea' — it's a permanent trend. A lot of our customers are eyeing the mandatory commercial recycling law in California and asking what they can do to prepare in the event that similar regulations come to their own states," he says. "I see this as a great public relations opportunity for retailers, restaurants and other businesses, actually — an opportunity to raise their profile in their communities by proactively implementing best waste management practices."

Actions like recycling and composting help the environment and local communities by reducing the contribution to already-overcrowded landfills, decreasing pollution, and contributing to the use of sustainable resources. When these actions become an integral part of a company's culture, owners and employees can take pride in knowing they are making a difference, local and globally. In turn, the communities that are home to these companies will reflect that pride.

Topics: waste removal recycling Composting waste management sustainability retailers waste disposal regulations federal regulations state regulations restaurants commercial businesses greenhouse gas emissions environmental Mandatory Commercial Recycling

Affiliations With Trade Associations Will Benefit WCS Clients

In an effort to better serve its clients, Waste Cost Solutions has joined the Restaurant Facility Management Association (RFMA) and the National Association for Convenience Stores (NACS), two established trade associations that have a strong history of advocacy for their memberships in those respective industries.

RFMA is a trade association created by and for restaurant facility management professionals. Its membership includes restaurant groups of all sizes, as well as national and regional service providers. RFMA's mission is to advance awareness of restaurant facility management, while promoting professional and ethical standards within the industry.

NACS is an international trade association representing more than 2,200 retail and 1,600 supplier company members. NACS serves the convenience and fuel retailing industry by facilitating connections and providing information and advocacy to ensure the competitive viability of its members' businesses. The association offers a variety of products to help retailers grow their businesses, from research and marketing to human resources support to category management.

"We believe strongly in supporting organizations that serve our clients," said Waste Cost Solutions CEO Michael Mintz. "Both RFMA and NACS have a mission of providing education and promoting industry awareness that are in sync with our core values at WCS."

Topics: waste management retailers restaurants Restaurant Facility Management Association RFMA National Association for Convenience Stores NACS News

Recycling Food Scraps for Sustainable Communities

Topics: waste removal recycling Composting waste management restaurant waste management trash reduce reuse wet waste

How a Waste Audit Helps Retailers Measure & Manage Waste Effectively

As a retail center owner or manager, you are constantly assessing your property and reevaluating operations so that they run more efficiently and cost-effectively. But have you ever assessed what really goes out with the trash? Yes, even waste removal can be streamlined!

Topics: waste removal recycling waste management retailers Dumpster Garbage Removal Garbage Removal trash recyclable property manager retail property owner

Three R's for Responsible Retailers — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

As a retailor commercial property owner or manager, you may have considered implementing green practices onsite at your property, but weren’t sure how or where to start. Or perhaps you’ve been held back by the number of variables involved in the process. You may have asked yourself questions like: What type of receptacles or other equipment will we need? Will my tenants and their employees participate in a recycling program? Will it cost money or save money? Are there additional ways to handle recycling than those I’m presently considering?

One helpful "how-to" resource for commercial operators is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guide, America's Marketplace Recycles, which discusses how to reduce, reuse and recycle wastes. The guide outlines the steps toward implementing a successful recycling program and contains examples of successful strategies and practices implemented by shopping centers and retailers across the country.

A reliable waste management consultant is another knowledgeable resource.

“A waste management consultant can help you implement a much more successful recycling program,” says Michael Mintz, CEO of Waste Cost Solutions. “A representative from a waste management company can help you assess your recycling potential as well as establish and maintain a successful recycling program. This is something a waste hauler may not do — since most haulers are publicly held and report to shareholder, they are seeking only to make a profit. A consultant will help you keep an eye on your own profit.”

Mintz adds that, as the world in general shifts toward green initiatives, retail and commercial centers are looking for ways to join the movement. A qualified consultant can help identify and set up the best recycling plan for each individual customer.

Talk to Our Waste Management Specialist

"There can be some barriers to setting up a recycling program for a retail operation, such as the landlord not providing the appropriate receptacles and pick-up services or employees not knowing how to appropriately sort recyclable materials. And some retailers and property managers still think a recycling program will actually cost them money. This couldn’t be further from the truth," he explains. "So, there has to be a program in place to teach people how to make their businesses green. Waste management consultants are in the business of helping educate their retail clients about recycling best practices."

A waste management consultant can help you:

• Assess your property's recycling potential. A professional waste audit will determine how much waste your business generates overall and what is or is not recyclable. You may learn that you can actually save money by recycling materials properly instead of putting everything into regular trash collection containers or that you can choose to buy from vendors who don't use unnecessary packaging for their products.

• Educate and encourage tenants and employees about your recycling program. A waste management consultant can assist with teaching the difference between recyclable and non-recyclable materials, identifying the appropriate receptacles and posting clear instructions for sorting wastes and collection procedures, including specific guidelines for janitorial workers and groundskeepers.

• Promote the program and its value within your operation and to the community. When your tenants and their employees understand the impact their recycling efforts can make on the environment, both locally and globally, they have a sense of pride in their contributions and buy into the program. Additionally, promoting the fact that your retail operation recycles shows customers and neighbors that you are environmentally responsible and cost-conscious.

Topics: waste removal recycling waste management sustainability retailers trash reduce reuse recyclable green going green property manager commercial property owner retail property owner

Why Isn't Your Restaurant Recycling?

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, roughly two-thirds (about 65 percent) of all operators questioned say they now have a recycling program in place at their restaurants. And while the number of restaurants that recycle their wastes is growing, there are still thousands that do not. Is your restaurant one of them?

The reasons many restaurants cite for not recycling include: not having enough space to accommodate a second or third dumpster; a lack of knowledge about which materials are actually recyclable; and the assumption that recycling takes too much time and effort on the part of management and staff to learn and comply with recycling rules and practices. But a professional waste management company can answer all of your questions and provide simple, cost-effective solutions so that your restaurant can easily implement a recycling program, according to Michael Mintz, CEO of Waste Cost Solutions.

"A knowledgeable customer service representative will sit down with you and have a discussion to come up with a clear picture of your restaurant's waste stream and the type and amount of recyclable materials in that waste stream," he explains. "Then, he or she will design a plan that works for you — including training for your staff on which items are recyclable and how to sort them, delivery of the proper receptacles for different types of recyclable materials, and a schedule for pick-up of those materials."

Topics: waste removal recycling restaurants Dumpster Garbage Removal restaurant waste management