Six ways recycling can boost small business

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

In today’s economy, keeping a small business afloat can seem like an uphill battle. And while recycling is often thought of as a social responsibility rather than a cash-cow, the chasing arrows can often bolster your bottom-line just as much as crunching numbers and cutting back on overhead. Don't believe us? Check out these six ways recycling can help your small business save money and increase neighborhood PR, and start making stewardship a part of your business plan.

Upcycle Decor
Whether you own a small retail shop, restaurant or office-—you're bound to need furniture for staff and customers. If your office decor is looking a little drab, don't waste cash on brand new items. Recycle chairs, desks and other pieces you already have to save on money and carbon emissions.

Businesses in the U.K. saved £14 million (about $21 million) per year by reusing office chairs, desks and other furniture, according to a research study conducted by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme). To upcycle your old furniture, try giving wood pieces a fresh coat of stain or reupholstering seat cushions for a brand new look.

To save even more money (and resources), ask local upholstery stores if they have any leftover scrap pieces from previous jobs. Scraps will sell for a fraction of the price and most will be large enough to use on seat cushions.

Recycle for Charity
Getting involved in charities and nonprofits in your community is a great way to boost PR for your small business. Sure, you could just write a check. But why not recycle to raise funds instead? Set up a charity recycling drive, and send out a press release to local news media to spread the word in your community.

If you live in an area that provides cash refunds for recyclables, try hauling your bottles and cans to a local recycling center once a week and donating the proceeds to the charity of your choice. For a project with a little less legwork, partner with an existing organization like Recycling for Charities to set up a fundraising drive.

Recycling for Charities will help you organize a cell phone recycling drive at your small business and donate the profits to the charity of your choice. Your business will also be eligible for tax deductions for each fundraiser.

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