Reduce and Recycle Your Industrial Waste

How to reduce and recycle your industrial waste 

Waste is a fact of life — and of industry. It’s also a problem. Dealing with waste from your business – whether it’s hazardous materials, manufacturing by-products, trimmings off the shop floor, or just the packaging your supplies come in – can be costly and complicated. Reducing waste through reuse, recycling, or improved efficiency is good for your business and the environment. In some instances, it can even boost your bottom line. Here is an outline and  some practical steps to help your business deal with the problem of waste.

Identify the type of waste

The first step to handling industrial waste efficiently is to know your waste type. This may vary from metal shavings, paper, plastic residuals, and chemicals. Once identified, separate the waste by classification to minimize cross contamination, and review applicable waste management options, including storage and disposal regulations, disposal costs, and the potential for environmental damage.

Implement a waste management plan

A waste management plan is a documented process that outlines strategies for managing waste throughout your business. It should cover every aspect—from the generation, segregation, storage and handling to transportation and final disposal. The goal is to protect the environment and minimize the amount of waste you’re simply taking to the dump. If your company handles hazardous waste, you already know the importance of complete and accurate documentation.

Establish a recycling program

A recycling program can significantly cut down on waste production, preserve natural resources, relieve the pressure on landfills and reduce pollution. Companies can start the recycling process by providing separate bins for materials such as paper, plastics, cardboard, glass, and metals. This waste, generally the result of everyday use by individual employees, is the low-hanging fruit of a recycling program but can still significantly reduce the amount of waste headed to the landfill. Once that system is in place, your company can explore ways to recycle or reuse its industrial waste.

Sell your waste

Your industrial waste may, in fact, be useful to other companies as inputs in their manufacturing process. In that case, your waste stream becomes an income stream. Plastic and metal organizations can sell their waste to recycling companies, which convert them to resins, pellets, or other usable products. CTC Plastics, for example, doesn’t just manufacture plastic products. It buys back those products at the end of their service life and then processes them into raw material for new products. To learn more about CTC’s recycling and buy-back program click on this link: Recycling and procurement

Involve the procurement department

Reducing waste can start with procurement. Procurement staff can look for eco-friendly inputs at the front end of your company’s supply chain, buying products, packaging, and containers that are recyclable, compostable, or bio-based.  And they can seek out suppliers that offer recycled products suitable for your use. Recycling and procurement can work hand in hand toward your ‘zero waste to landfill’ goal. 

Find ways to use your waste internally

Industrial operations can sometimes reuse or repurpose waste generated from various production stages. Identifying new applications for waste products within the facility, such as repurposing shipping pallets to make pipe framework, can reduce production costs while minimizing environmental consequences.

Monitor progress and adjust the plan

Ongoing review is always a good practice, and your waste management plan is no different. Regularly tracking the amounts of waste produced and analyzing the trends helps you anticipate potential hazards and identify inefficiencies. By monitoring the plan and making adjustments, you can maintain an efficient, effective plan; keep costs low; and comply with government regulations.

Let CTC Plastics help you

Each year, CTC Plastics converts more than 100 million pounds of used and discarded plastic into new products. CTC believes sustainability and quality are necessities throughout a product’s life cycle, and it takes great pride in helping companies meet their sustainability goals, promoting a green environment, and providing high-quality, durable goods from recycled plastics. Learn more at