Four R’s of Preventing Waste – Reuse

July 19th, 2011

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing. Mark asks "What are the ways you can “Reuse” in order to reduce waste?"

Yesterday we started a series focusing on the Four R’s of Waste Control beginning with a focus on “Reduce” as the first R.  Today we will be looking at “Reuse” and how it can fit into the culture of your business.

Next to reducing your waste amount, reusing your waste is the next best thing for creating a “greener” world.  Reusing an item once its initial purpose has been fulfilled changes it to no longer being waste.

Practical examples of the “reuse” principle are found more frequently in a person’s home however there are still some great ways to incorporate the “reuse” principle into your business.

Printer cartridge and toner reuse – Many printer companies have programs in place to collect empty ink and toner cartridges and refill them at the factory readying them for resell.  This process reduces the number of plastic shells that need to be manufactured by the ink and toner companies, reducing waste.  Some companies are even able to buy ink kits that allow them to fill their own cartridges.

Pallet reuse – Wood and plastic pallet reuse has long been a practice employed by companies to help reduce waste and cost and today there are several programs in place to “pool” pallets that can be shared among many companies without having to incur the cost of using brand new pallets with every shipment.

Reusable transport totes – Like pallets more and more companies are moving toward plastic totes to transport goods within the organization instead of cardboard boxes.  The cost up front is slightly higher, but the savings is huge compared to the waste and cost of using cardboard boxes with only a few uses.

Suppliers that reuse – One of the biggest ways companies can support the “reuse” philosophy is by selecting to do business with and supporting organizations and vendors who are in a position to “reuse” on multimillion dollar scales of volume and economy.  These companies have developed processes and have access to the manufacturing process that allow them to reuse waste savings millions of dollars.  There are thousands of suppliers who have been certified through one organization or another for excelling in this area and can be included when sourcing products.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing with companies that have a commitment to “Reusing” waste and/or have been certified as a leader in this area, please contact a Customer Service Representative.

We hope you have enjoyed this week’s series and look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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