March 12, 2024

Calculating the Hidden Costs of Waste: A Closer Look at Business Expenses

Business owners are intimately familiar with the challenges of managing tight budgets, where every penny counts. The deceptive costs associated with waste disposal can significantly impact business finances. However, there are also hidden solutions for the cost of waste. The often-overlooked expenses associated with waste are oftentimes caused by inefficient disposal practices. So, how do businesses minimize these costs? 

The average cost to landfill municipal waste in 2022 in the U.S was $58.72 per ton with an 8.2% increase from previous years, according to Statista. The highest tipping fees were in the North Eastern U.S, with the average being $75.92 per ton. Not only is the cost of landfills increasing, but the number of landfills available for waste disposal is decreasing, leaving businesses with fewer options and more fees. In 1990, there were more than 6,000 landfills, but by 2018 there were only 1,269. 

Average cost to landfill municipal solid waste in the United States from 2020 to 2022, by region.

The hidden solution to these hidden costs is more obvious than many businesses believe. Recycling! Not only will the recyclable materials be subtracted from business landfill dumps, but some materials, like scrap metal, can generate additional savings. Also, statistics are showing consumers increasingly prefer sustainable business practices, and landfill charges often surpass the cost of recycling materials. In 2022, 84% of respondents to a survey said that we need to change our economy from one that throws things away to one that emphasizes reusing and recycling. Therefore, businesses that participate in recycling practices will retain benefits on both the sale and cost side of things. 

Opinions on plastics and plastic waste in the United States in 2020 and 2022, by statement

Furthermore, reducing carbon emissions and footprints helps businesses and the environment. However, some businesses may struggle due to disparities in legislation for recycling across states and varying recycling programs. CIRT, an acronym for Can I Recycle This? has a solution for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint and divert materials from landfills for cost savings and sales opportunities with consumers. 

CIRT offers products and services that answer the question Can I Recycle This? for consumers while providing valuable information and insights on packaging and materials for businesses. On-pack QR codes are scanned by consumers, telling the customer whether the material is recyclable based on their geospatial location. CIRT offers Impact Assessments for businesses to determine the current level of material circularity and provide insights and information on where circularity is most effective. CIRT software and the database are constantly updated with the most current information available on the recyclability of materials for a majority of the United States, and some of Canada and Mexico. 

Mitigate risk, stay up to date on local, state & national recycling regulations, keep track of packaging attributes for compliance, logistics, and marketing purposes, and recirculate packaging material for bottom line savings by diverting valuable materials from the landfill with CIRT technology. Our suite of tools empowers you to understand and improve your packaging footprint for people, planet & profit. Learn more about gaining recycling metrics that matter for your business by visiting our website: