CSR: Wrangling our Texas Waste
Each Texan contributes about five pounds of waste to landfills each day. Texas’ population is growing, which means more trash and more space needed to dispose of it. And this weight only accounts for each Texas resident, not commercial waste produced. As Texas grows, companies must consider the environmental impact of their waste.
Corporate Social Responsibility is the idea that companies can invest in society and the environment while also operating and profiting as businesses. Waste reduction, recycling, and resource reclamation have seen great advances due to CSR efforts here in Texas.
Reducing Waste and Resource Reuse
When considering a CSR project or program to reduce waste, you can look at two main categories: waste reduction and resource reuse. One line of thinking is to reduce the overall materials from businesses that go into waste streams. This includes product packaging, direct mail, waste byproducts, facility trash, and more. The other line of thinking is resource reuse, which includes recycling materials and reusing resources for a second life. Resource reuse can also start in the design phase, so products or pieces are multifunctional. For example, a wooden wine box package that doubles as an outdoor birdhouse! Or also including an LED light to turn that same packaged wine bottle into a tabletop lamp!
CSR for Waste Reduction
If your business produces notable waste during daily operations, you might propose ways to reduce waste by improving current disposal procedures or establishing repurpose practices. (See TCEQ’s Resource Exchange Network for Eliminating Waste.) This might require some engineering or investing in technology. Waste reduction is especially important in Texas during the holiday seasons, when purchases of gifts, food, and décor increase.
If your organization doesn’t produce noteworthy amounts of waste to operate, there are other ways to save. Consider starting an office recycling or composting program, or auditing paper consumption and investing in digital processing.
Build a plan for your CSR project or program that works best for you and has the best return on investment for your business.
- In 2018, approximately 1.7 million tons of materials were diverted for recycling or reuse from landfills and processing facilities in Texas.
- A total of 845,011 tons of waste was composted from 10 landfills and 19 composting facilities around the state in 2018.
- From 1986 to the mid-1990s, the state’s reserve capacity for disposal (the time it would take landfills to fill up if they continued operating normally) was less than 22 years. Thanks to changes in technology, processes, and waste diversion, the current reserve capacity for disposal is about 51 years.
- From 2013 to 2018, companies and facilities reported having reduced more than 8.7 million tons of hazardous waste.
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