Throughout my time working for SRELP and blogging on “sustainablechmidt.com,” I have continually referenced my goals of reducing “black bin” or garbage waste and increasing the volume of compost waste. However, I have only touched on or vaguely mentioned my project without going into any detail about the nuts and bolts of my task. I refrained from providing detail because although garbage is an undoubtedly important area of our lives, it isn’t particularly exciting. However, having come to the conclusion of my garbage project, I can definitively say that garbage IS something that can be exciting.
Garbage can be exciting in that one can save a boatload of money through careful and responsible waste management. In the case of SRELP’s building garbage profile, for example, Helmut was spending $3,878.05 per month to provide garbage services for the 6 buildings he manages. At several building locations, he was providing more garbage space than his tenants required. Available garbage volume is calculated by adding up the volume of available bin space (2 96 gallon bins provide 192 gallons of available bin space) and multiplying that sum by the number of garbage pickup days per week. 2 96 gallon bins picked up 7 times per week=1344 gallons of weekly available bin space.
By traveling to each building location repeatedly over the course of 2 wees and recording the amount of available volume that was being used, I was able to determine that most of our buildings use far less space than we provide. In other words, we were paying to provide garbage volume that wasn’t being used. We then worked to come up with a new available garbage volume that would better fit the habits and necessities of our tenants. Upon finding said number, we called and changed our building garbage profiles for 3 out of the 6 buildings that we manage. The results were as follows:
Original price for waste management: $3,878.05 per month
New price for waste management: $2,479.37 per month
By reducing our garbage bin reliance and applying a more eco-friendly waste management program, we saved (and will continue to save) $1,398.68 per month. If saving almost $1,500 per month doesn’t make you excited, then just think that you can save a lot of money AND save the environment by becoming more compost and recycling conscientious.
A very excited SRELP intern