While there are no big profits for businesses in recycling, there are benefits companies might be overlooking, according to a marketing manager with the city’s solid waste management department.
The city’s solid waste management department launched ReWorksSA earlier this year to get more businesses to recycle.
The department’s marketing manager Marcus Lee said the city does not pick up recyclables from businesses, but they can connect businesses with those who do.
“The ReWorks team has done a really good job understanding the different industries,” he said. “For example, we know a car dealership is not a restaurant, so their waste stream is going to be different. They’ll come into the workplace. They’ll work with employees. They’ll do those assessments. They’ll make recommendations about policies, processes.”
Lee said while there are costs associated with recycling, businesses that do might see their own bottom lines improve along with the quality of employees they attract.
“People want to do business with companies who are focused on corporate, social responsibility and sustainability,” he said. “Those are also the companies that are attracting and keeping the better employees. The young workforce, it’s a high priority if their company again has good corporate-social responsibility.”
The city offers bronze, silver, and gold certifications to businesses who meet certain criteria under the recycling program.
ReWorksSA offers points for 27 practices in waste reduction and recycling, like proper signage, green purchasing policies, and regular recycling training. The more points earned, the higher the certification.
Businesses can post their certifications in their window or web site to prove to customers and employees they are good corporate-social citizens, Lee said.
Harland-Clarke, The Pearl, and Waste Management are gold certificate holders. For more information on certifications, visit reworkssa.org.
Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at tpr.org