Which Warehouse Recycling Sorting Bins Do You Need?
Warehouses and industrial facilities produce a lot of waste. It is impossible to eliminate garbage, but practices like recycling can help reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill and make the warehouses eco-friendlier. This article discusses recycling sorting bins and how they can be used to optimize waste management in the warehouse.
Recycling in the Warehouse
Waste management is expensive, costing between four to five percent of company turnover. The cost can increase when poor waste collection practices are implemented. Recycling is an excellent way to keep waste organized while minimizing environmental impact.
To better understand the necessity of recycling, it is important to look at the types of waste produced in a facility. Warehouse waste can be categorized into five primary types:
- Organic matter
- Hazardous and Toxic materials
- Residue (such as soiled and wet materials.)
One of the most common sources of waste in a warehouse is packaging and scrap materials that are taken off products, and most of this is recyclable. However, a large amount of this packaging will be sent to landfills without recycling options. Additionally, inadequate waste disposal options can disrupt the fast-paced workflow and pose potential safety risks to workers and material handling equipment.
For example, forklift operators frequently remove shrink wrap from pallets throughout the day. Many operators will hold on to stretch wrap until they find a place to dispose of it. However, doing this can lead to other problems. If the stretch wrap falls off the forklift onto the ground, it can wrap itself around the machine's underside and bind the motors. This may cause permanent damage if it goes unnoticed, and removal can be tricky and costly. It can also be a tripping hazard to floor workers. Providing recycling sorting receptacles frequently throughout the facility, especially in high-traffic areas, encourages workers to recycle and minimizes the likelihood of improper disposal. It can also save money spent trying to fix issues resulting from improper disposal.
Choosing a recycling receptacle
Implementing recycling practices in a warehouse is not always an easy feat. There are many considerations necessary to ensure methods are efficient and effective. One of the first things to look at is space and budget.
Having several recycling stations across a warehouse is beneficial and encourages habitual recycling from workers. However, warehouse space is valuable, and managers must determine if the value of the recycling receptacle outweighs its cost. For example, frequent recycling stations in an area where packaging removal is common would be helpful, but too many receptacles may disrupt the flow of traffic for material handling equipment. In contrast, too few recycling stations can slow down productivity and cause workers to waste valuable work time. Therefore, strategic and appropriate placement is essential.
Another vital consideration is labeling. Clear labeling helps ensure that trash is sorted and disposed of properly. This minimizes the number of materials that are recycled incorrectly and improves recycling frequency and efficiency.
Keeping these factors in mind, the next step is determining the type and quantity of recycling receptacles for the facility. This can be challenging in large workplaces like warehouses. Auditing is an excellent way to gain insight into a warehouse's recycling needs. Waste management specialists will provide insight into how much waste the warehouse is outputting and what measures can be implemented to optimize recycling practices. In addition, they may suggest other ways to reduce waste, such as switching to reusable packaging.
Rack sacks vs. recycling bins
Plastic and rubber bins are a typical choice for recycling and waste disposal. These are often effective options that allow for easy waste separation. However, a problem with bins in the warehouse is that they take up valuable floor space and create obstacles for machine handling equipment. Because of this, they are often hit, crushed, or broken and require frequent repairs or replacements. Therefore, warehouses are paying for the initial purchase of the bins and replacement fees. Bins can also be challenging to handle and transport.
An excellent alternative to recycling bins is the Rack Sack. The Racksack is a reusable waste receptacle that can be hung from almost any hookable surface. In warehouses, it typically suspends from racking uprights, but the Racksack can also be hooked onto desks, shelves, workbenches, and more.
The Rack Sack is equipped with an S-hook, making it easy to install and takes up little to no floor space. This reduces the storage cost and minimizes obstacles for machine handling equipment (and replacement fees associated with impacts). It is also affordable (costing $49.50), meaning more Racksacks can be purchased for the warehouse.
The Racksack is made from tough, waterproof polyester and weighs only 2 lbs, but can carry up to 42 gallons of waste. It also comes in 14 easy-to-read text designs and five international designs, simplifying trash segregation and minimizing instances of improper disposal. Labeling options include:
- Blank, aluminum, wood & timber, building material, electrical, general waste, litterman symbol – no text, plastic only symbol – no text, and various other combinations.
The smaller Rack Sack Mini is ideal for a workstation or for use as a smaller waste collection receptable. See the Rack Sack Mini here.
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