Environmental protection has become a big concern over the years. The good news is, more and more businesses are on the hunt for ways to turn waste into a resource. In other words, making expired products useful in other forms.

A great example of this is Nike. By using recycled polyester, Nike says it has preserved 3 billion plastic bottles since 2010.

Another example: European furniture Pentatonic makes chairs by recycling its own products into new ones.

Walt Disney world turns food waste into energy.

“Engaging with sustainability has become unavoidable for most companies,” says Barry Breede (www.koppersuip.com), author of “Transforming the Utility Pole” and chief innovation officer at Koppers Utility & Industrial Products.

“Some are looking at more aggressive approaches because government regulations start to take effect,” Breede said. “Others are driven by their own internal goals to manage their waste stream in a more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective manner.

“Throw in the fact that landfills are quickly filling up across America,” Breede said, “and disposing of company waste in a responsible and forward-thinking way has never been more important.”

Breede said today’s primary disposal options that are environmental-friendly include:  

  • Landfill-to-gas. 
  •  Waste-to-energy. 
  •  Biomass. 
  •  Circular model. 

“Most options involve a trade-off between affordability and a level of environmental stewardship,” Breede said. “But thanks to innovation and collaboration, these are ways for companies to be much kinder to the environment.”




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