Happy Earth Day! Now that spring is finally here after a particularly tough winter in Ohio, our attention is turning to the return of beautiful blooms, sounds of wildlife, and newly green grass. Speaking of green, many companies like to “green-wash” their image, but solid facts shine the brightest. Here are some interesting results from Bottomline Ink’s recycling and reuse efforts in 2014:
- We recycled more than 145 tons of cardboard, paper, plastic, wood, and metal.
- We reused more than 21 tons of wood, cardboard, and other paper.
- We generated less than 16 tons of landfill waste.
What do these numbers really mean? 139 of the 145 tons we recycled consisted of paper and cardboard, which:
- Saved the energy equivalent of 22,935 gallons of gasoline or saved enough energy to power the average American home for 69.5 years
- Saved 973,000 gallons of water
- Saved 459 cubic yards of landfill space
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 139 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE)
Reusing or reclaiming wood, cardboard, and paper is especially important for a company that provides a high volume of printing, shipping, and warehousing/order fulfillment. It takes about 24 typical size trees to produce 1 ton of virgin office paper, so reclaiming and reusing 21 tons of paper in 2014 saved over 500 trees.
Through diligent efforts by all of our staff and internal systems that promote reuse and recycling, we recaptured 10 times as many materials by weight as we landfilled. Here’s a bigger picture comparison: In the United States, 250.9 million tons of waste was generated in 2012. Of that, 135.0 million tons were discarded to a landfill. That is a discard rate of 53.8% while BLI’s was only 9.6%!
We are excited about the results of our recycling efforts from 2014 and look to improve these statistics in 2015. What kind of efforts do you have in place at work or home to reduce, reuse, and recycle?
• “Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2012” (US EPA)
• Conserveatree.org (Note – The common number cited is 17 trees/ton, but that refers to newsprint and is a somewhat outdated number.)