Zero Waste by 2020
Posted on December 18th, 2015
I read a book recently, Let My People Go Surfing, by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, about their businesses humble beginnings and principles that led them through tremendous business growth. From their financial philosophies and product design values to their workplace culture and environmental impact statement, Chouinard sets the stage for good business practices that can be applied to different industries, big or small.
In his “Environmental Philosophies” chapter he says, “One of the hardest things for a business to do is to investigate the environmental effects of its most successful product and, if it’s bad, to change it.” One thing about business is that it is always evolving and there are always ways to operate more efficiently and effectively as our market and environmental change.
Like any business, the waste that our quarries generate cost us money to discard and has a huge impact on the environment. When we send our trash to the landfill, it increases the amount of land needed to store waste, thus encroaching more and more on natural habitats and potentially leaching toxins into our soils and waterways. Waste that goes to the landfill, that could otherwise be reused or recycled, increases the demand to manufacture new products, which in and of itself can have negative implications on the environment.
A future without waste is a necessity. That is why Hedrick Industries is working towards zero waste operations in the next five years. We produce waste that could be recycled in our offices, and around the plant shops and operations. Paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, ink cartridges, tires, batteries, conveyor belts, cardboard, and scrap steel may all have recyclable potential if sorted and collected properly.
We are encouraging our employees to take small steps to go a long way in waste reduction! Instead of using Styro-foam cups for beverages, which are used once and then tossed in the waste receptacle, we are bringing reusable coffee mug or glass from home. Instead of buying plastic water bottles and throwing each empty one away, plastic bottles can be refilled from the water fountain to extend its life and keep it out of the landfill. As we develop our plan for better environmental action, we are going to put the right measures in place to properly sort and collect recyclable materials that what would otherwise be waste.