Greening Your Bottom Line

Out in the back alley sits your trash dumpster ready to swallow all you have to throw away. But what if we told you that dumpster may be swallowing some of your profits? To possibly help you cut those costs, The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio stands ready with some tips to deal with what you send to the “outback.”

Let’s start with your waste-hauling contract. Do you know when it expires? Does it have an automatic renewal clause? Many times business owners are so busy with other matters, their contract renews on its own. That’s called an “evergreen” contract. Check that contract and take command. There may be a better deal than what comes with your auto-renewal.

Most of us believe recycling is the right thing to do because it helps the environment and saves natural resources. But did you know that the recyclables in your trash have value? Your clean office paper, cardboard, cans, and plastics are reusable. That means there’s a market for those products.

When you negotiate your environmental services contract, ask potential bidders to include recycling options. Recycling should reduce your volume of waste. As a result, your hauler should make fewer trips to the landfill and there is more for the hauler to turn in at a recycling facility.

But don’t stop there. What about partnering with your neighbor? Between the two of you, you may be able to get by on one dumpster for trash and one container for recyclables.

Or what about your own mini solid waste district? A small neighborhood of businesses can sometimes ban together and have one central drop off location for trash and recyclables. That may cut your bill and it most certainly will cut down on the truck traffic in and around your business.

Not sure how to get started with recycling? SWACO’s got the advice to help you hit the ground running.

On our website, we have information about our “do-it-yourself” waste audit. This program walks you through your business, helping you indentify the low hanging fruit (what’s easy to recycle).

Once you are on your way, SWACO offers another free online program called E-TRAC. This program helps you track your environmental service costs and computes your environmental footprint (how many trees, how much energy, etc. you save by recycling).

SWACO also believes that green ideas should be shared. So we sponsor quarterly Business Round Table meetings. These networking events allow businesses of all sizes to trade ideas and information on how they have accomplished green in their business world.

It’s easy to get started on the road to green. For more advice, give SWACO a call at 614-871-5100 or log on to

Well on your way to being green? Then please tell us and the world about it.

Nominations are now being accepted for The SWACO 6th Annual Central Ohio EMERALDS. Each year, SWACO honors the best and most innovative local ideas in waste reduction and recycling during Ohio’s green premier awards program. This year’s EMERALDS will be presented Tues., May 17 at The Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St. on Ohio State University’s campus.

Nominees may be local businesses, institutions, communities, individuals, or students who fall into one of the following categories: Leadership, Small Businesses/Non-profit/Institution of the Year, Large Businesses/Non-profit/Institution of the Year, Good Neighbor, Environmental Education, Young & Green (high school students), and Community of the Year.

To nominate, or for more information, click here.