In our regular blogs on topics like rubbish recycling – we are always talking about how you can save money and boost recycling.


It is this double sided benefit that we believe is really key to helping you get behind recycling and waste reduction.


Sometimes, I find it tricky though to really quantify the value that a business can save from recycling.


In today’s blog – I want to take a look at some major companies who have looked into the value of recycling. The amount of money they have saved – and added to profits really highlights the financial as well as environmental benefits.


Who is


A bit about Waster. Waster is a new business in the Australian waste and recycling market. We work with small and medium Aussie businesses to reduce their costs, boost recycling and reduce stress. We provide all waste and recycling bin services – from general waste, to sanitary to grease trap. Check out our bin options and prices online today by pressing the blue button below:


What big businesses know about rubbish recycling?


I have often wondered at how much money is literally thrown away in the trash.


When I say this – I mean the value of metal, cardboard usable plastic etc that could be sold on to a recycling plant. It is amazing to think that people are paying to dump what could be very valuable commodities.


Forbes reports that the US car manufacturer GM has a real financial focus on rubbish recycling:


“The automaker generates an eye-popping $1 billion a year reusing or recycling materials that would otherwise be thrown away — everything from scrap steel and paint sludge to cardboard boxes and worn-out tires.”


“By finding new uses for that waste — or selling it to someone who can — GM diverted 2.5 million metric tons of waste from landfills in 2011 (the equivalent of 38 million garbage bags).”


“Worldwide, 90 percent of GM’s manufacturing waste is reused or recycled this way — more than any other automaker, according to Two Tomorrows, a sustainability consultant in San Francisco. GM has a total of 104 landfill-free facilities worldwide, including 84 manufacturing sites that reuse or recycle 97 percent of their waste, and convert the remainder to energy. Its goal is 125 landfill-free facilities globally by 2020.”


Huge amount of items that need to be recycled


Car manufacturing can be a dirty business – as huge amounts of very different products are needed in the supply chain.


GM applied a system that could almost be described as reverse procurement – i.e. rather than sourcing items efficiently – what was the best way to get rid of them in a sustainable way!


By looking at many options – dollars were saved as the economic value of the commodity was maximised.

Rubbish recycling bin


Ideas ranged from selling selling left over metal to less obvious ideas:


“GM donated scrap vehicle sound absorption material to help insulate coats that transform into sleeping bags for the homeless, an initiative led by a Detroit humanitarian.”


“Scrapped battery covers for the Chevrolet Volt were converted into nesting boxes for wood ducks, screech owls and bats.”


How much money was saved?


The company has suggested that it made an extra $2.5bn USD over 4 years due to these programmes. This is a large sum when you think that auto companies received financial bailouts in these years.


You can check out a video below on how some of GM’s plants are now sending no waste to landfill at all – and of course with the focus on company profit.


However – it is good to know that company profit and the environment can go hand in hand.





In many industries – profit margins can be very small. For example, in retail profit margins can be around 1% on total revenue.


In these cases – every dollar of cost is important. Big companies know that rubbish recycling can be a great way to save dollars and boost profit – whilst being green.


Whilst you business may not be as big as GM – you can certainly save money by optimising your waste collections. We look forward to speaking to you and see if we can help you!