Catch the value before it goes to a landfill
Substantial dollars and — sometimes — even lives can be saved by knowing the materials and supplies that an organization uses, then making productive use of items that are routinely discarded.
Value claimed off the housekeeping cart
For example, organizations which offer lodging, maintain public restrooms, or provide locker rooms may routinely discard materials that have the potential to fight disease. Leftover soaps and other toiletries are seldom identified as recyclable, but people worldwide need them! Rather than discarding those tiny bottles and soap fragments from hotels, spas, and gyms, they can save lives through better hygiene in remote areas which need improved sanitation.
Clean the World partners with hospitality and other industries, reducing waste while recycling hygiene items for delivery where needed. They also upcycle hotel linens into children’s pajamas. The organization, headquartered in Orlando and with five offices in four countries, gathers and sorts donated supplies then coordinates bringing the hygiene items to schools, community health providers, and maternal health programs. Often, the organization serves remote, distant communities and supports teaching about diseases, germs, and proper hand washing techniques.
A hands-on perspective
The ecoPreserve team recently returned to volunteer with Clean the World. Four of our sustainability specialists and managers participated in receiving, sorting, sanitizing, and processing donated products. As participants, we are always grateful to partner with organizations that reclaim value from materials often discarded but better recycled.
Capturing the potential
What supplies does your organization frequently receive, process, and discard? Have you reviewed these materials for reduction, reuse, redesign, recycle, or repurpose?
Do you have a Solid Waste Management (SWM) program that captures potential material reuse, reclamation, or donation? It can be financially and humanly rewarding when one organization’s trash becomes another organization’s treasure. With commitment and SWM planning, donors, as well as recipients, can claim the maximum benefits.