Lancaster, PA – Businesses in Lancaster are being encouraged to recycle and be more environmentally friendly with their waste. This stems from the successful recycling systems put together by a local business director, and other businesses are starting to follow suit.

Carl Polonchack helped establish a recycling system for his office at Gilbert Architects several years ago. It includes color coded recycling bins for paper, magazines, and cardboards. He even takes the materials across town to the recycling center himself every other week.

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Polonchack is the office’s information technology director, and said their business uses up a lot of a paper. Once they got a system in place, it was a very easy process to keep going. Their recycling initiative began with a desire for less of their recyclable paper to end up in the landfill. Eventually, they found their four cubic yard dumpster was being emptied half as often: from twice a week to once a week.

The city is offering audits for businesses per the Solid Waste & Recycling bureau. City employees will come investigate a company’s waste in trash cans to help them figure out what they are doing wrong and ways they can reduce and recycle more effectively.

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Tim Brensisen, solid waste & recycling manager of the city, said that businesses, like residents, are required to recycle. But often times, smaller businesses do not have a long-established recycling program like larger businesses or chain stores. Some of the small stores do not even have curbside collection, making it difficult to know what to do with the recyclable materials.

Since April 2014, there have been about a dozen new businesses that were visited for waste audits. Cory Simo, from the Solid Waste & Recycling bureau, looks around and asks the company questions about paper that is used, when the soda machines are restocked, and where other recyclable materials might be coming from. He hopes the visits will help lower the trash stream, and help the company by lowering their trash costs.

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Every business is different, and has different kinds of waste. This means there is not one universal way for companies to go green.

Simo hopes that he will soon be able to start visiting restaurants and other food businesses. He would then be starting a compostable food program in addition to the recycling efforts. The main goal right now, is getting the businesses to recycle “because there is so much opportunity, people don’t realize that this stuff is worth money,” said Breneisen.

 

Story from Lancaster Online