Salon Sustainability – Recycling Locally Saves Salons

Salon Sustainability –  Recycling Locally Saves Salons

By Hannah Craik | Salonvironment

When I started this career path for myself (because let’s be real, definitely no one asked me to quit my job to go through trash), I’ve always stood strong that recycling locally is important. But why is that? There are incredible mail-away recycling programs that can take EVERYTHING away and are either disposed of properly, created into new objects, or are studied the challenge of what makes something truly “unrecyclable” (which, for the record, is incredible).

So why do I suggest recycling locally? A lot of reasons:

  • It’s more cost effective
  • It stimulates your local economy
  • A lot less energy is being used
  • It’s less dependant on mail carriers

Cost Effective:

Even before the 2020 pandemic that really caused a financial crater in the salon industry, there were still beauty professionals finding it hard to pay bills on some weeks. When you work in an industry that is commission based – it’s in the nature of the career. Because of that, accessibility for mail-away recycling programs (or anything else extra) can be out of budget for some. 

Local recycling programs tend to be anywhere from $0 – $15 on average (depending on your city’s program) for everyday items like paper, cardboard, glass, and certain plastics.

For metal recycling, scrap metal yards will actually pay you for your foil and empty aluminum product tubes. It’s not extreme, but it does offset some costs. 

Organics recycling varies on pricing but composting hair and food waste can be done in your own backyard for free or can end up in a free bag of finished compost from a business who does it for you.

Plastic film recycling such as bubble wrap, mail packages, and air pockets can be recycled through most local retailers such as Meijer or Kroger. TREX has a free recycling program for individuals to drop off their soft plastic items at.

Hazardous Waste recycling is usually just items being disposed of more properly. Most city programs have “Hazardous Household Waste” drop off days (price can vary) every season which is great for leftover color, expired cleaners, etc.

Hot tools can be taken at most scrap yards, but Best Buy also has a free drop off program (up to 3 items) that you can take them to.

Stimulating Economy:

Keeping things local helps stimulate your surrounding economy. For states that need materials for business (like aluminum, plastic, etc) from out of state, using these recycled materials will help out-of-state costs as well as open up new jobs needed to 

  1. Recycle these materials
  2. Create these materials

And other various positions needed. Less out-of-state costs, more jobs, and a fuller economy.

Less Energy Usage:

This one is pretty easy to understand. To recycle items out of state, it takes more resources (gas, fuel) to pick up and drop off items across the state lines than if you are able to recycle down the street. 

Less Dependency on Carriers:

As inflation teeters and cost of living rises, we see and will continue to see the fight for fairer pay from all industries. But there have been tensions with different mail carriers throughout the years, especially with the UPS. With a strike looming, we’re looking at around 340,000 workers that will be missing – meaning the other carriers such as USPS, FEDEX, and Amazon will have more work to do. There will be a stress on the market and mail deliveries will have extended wait and time (which can be hard when you are waiting for another box).

But mail-away recycling programs have a lot of pros as well!

  1. Not everywhere has basic recycling offered to them, so this might be their only option.
  2. They have opportunities to recycle or research very obscure items that cannot usually be recycled in local communities.
  3. They have abilities to partner with environmental charities/startups, big brands wanting to make a difference, and have more resources to dig into the deeper problem. 

As mail-away recycling options are amazing, see how you can recycle locally first to help you save a little money, support your local economy, and create sustainable business practices.

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