Commercial composting: what’s in it for your business? 

By: Rita Bernert, Senior Sales Representative

Just like residences, businesses generate a lot of organic waste (actually, even more!). During my time working in the waste industry over the past 8 years, I’ve realized many business owners do not fully consider their options for waste removal, especially when landfilling their waste is the option they are most familiar with. Even though “traditional” waste management is frequently viewed as the easiest and most cost-effective choice, this is often not actually the case. Composting has many tangible benefits that are worth considering when making an informed decision about waste management at your business.

1.   Adding composting as a means to divert your organics will keep food waste and other organic waste from your usual trash bins. This removal of organic waste from your trash will allow your business to decrease waste removal costs by decreasing the size of your trash container, decreasing the number of days of  service, and/or decreasing the number of containers you need for your trash.

2.   Reducing the quantity of waste headed to landfills will increase your eligibility for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.  The possession of a LEED certification means that a building has been designed, built and maintained using green building and energy efficient best practices.  Through composting, your business has the potential to gain additional points in the LEED certification process. The more points you earn, the more sustainable the building is and the higher the rating you will receive. High rated/certified LEED buildings have faster lease-up rates, qualify for tax rebates and zoning allowances, and even retain higher property value, so the process is worth looking into!

3.   For restaurants and retail businesses:  people tend to patronize like-minded organizations.  Advertising that you compost your waste attracts environmentally conscious people in the area to your business.  Patrons have many choices when it comes to selecting who they will give their money to, and composting is a simple change that can set you apart from your competition.

4.   Zero waste regulations are becoming increasingly commonplace in the DMV and beyond, and many of these regulations incentivize or even require businesses to begin diverting their organic waste from landfills. In order to comply with these regulations and stay ahead of the curve, composting is a great way to be proactive and take the necessary steps to keep pace with local mandates. 

5.   Removing food waste from the trash container will reduce odors and rodents.  Trash containers are usually open and accessible, which means they are also accessible to our furry friends.  Having compost containers on site gives businesses a way to keep their food waste concealed in smaller bins with lids and locks. Less odor and pests is a win for customers and employees alike!

As a business owner, you have the power to make a positive change for your business and your community by composting your organization’s scraps. Although sending your business’s organic waste to the landfill was the default choice for many years, composting is a solution that can save you money and improve the reputation of your company, all while benefiting the environment! If you have any questions about what composting would look like for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out. 





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