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Guide to Recycling in the Warehouse

warehouse racksack | beaverswood rack sack

Warehouses and other industrial workspaces tend to produce large amounts of waste. Recycling is a crucial part of waste management as it allows businesses to minimize the amount of solid waste sent to landfills, making operations more eco-friendly. Learn about warehouse recycling methods in the guide below. 

The importance of recycling in the warehouse 

Solid waste generation has become a growing problem across the world. A report by the World Bank Group determined that approximately 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste is produced each year globally, and is projected to grow to 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050. 

Recycling is an excellent way to reduce solid waste generation. However, many are unaware of proper disposal and recycling practices and do not have waste separation systems easily accessible to them. Because of this, different types of trash and recyclables tend to end up in general waste sent to landfills. These issues are particularly prevalent in facilities that produce large amounts of mixed waste, like warehouses. 

Most warehouse trash can be recycled, but improper separation can lead to contamination. For example, metals and paper are recyclable. However, if metal shavings are recycled with paper, a recycling center may have trouble separating them, and both materials are likely to be sent to general waste instead.

Poor waste and recycling management can pose safety risks for workers and disrupt productivity and workflow. For example, broken glass can pierce a bag or bin. If workers are unaware of what is inside the trash receptacle, they risk harming themselves when emptying it. 

One of the drawbacks of recycling and waste management practices is that they are costly, accounting for about four to five percent of company turnover. However, poor separation and collection can accrue additional costs. 

For example, forklift operators frequently remove shrink wrap from pallets. If garbage or recycling receptacles are not found frequently throughout the facility or are not easily accessible, the operators will likely hold onto the shrink wrap until they come across one. The accumulated shrink wrap may fall on the ground, get picked up by the machine, and bind the motors. This can cause severe damage that is tricky and costly to fix. 

Tips for implementing recycling practices in the warehouse 

Proper recycling and waste management practices can save money and improve the warehouse's safety, organization, and productivity. However, before implementing new methods, it is essential to understand the recycling needs and requirements of the warehouse. Therefore, an excellent place to start is by doing an audit of current waste management practices. Waste management specialists can also be hired to provide further insight. 

Factors to consider when implementing recycling practices include: 
  • Space 
  • Budget 
  • Labelling 
  • Recycling receptacle options 


    Warehouse space is valuable and expensive and must be used effectively to maximize productivity and minimize cost. For example, having several recycling spots in a warehouse can encourage regular recycling and minimize the frequency of improper disposal. However, recycling receptacles take up space, so the warehouse must determine if the value outweighs the cost of the area it uses. 

    For example, an area that frequently unwraps shrink wrap from pallets may benefit from having several trash receptacles. However, too many can create obstacles for forklifts and impact workflow. And too few receptacles can cause workers to keep the shrink wrap on them, which can cause damage to the machine. 


    Poor recycling and waste management practices can be costly to a business. However, companies do not need to spend ridiculous amounts to do so. Many low-cost but effective recycling options are available, like the Racksack®. (Learn more about the Racksack below). 


    Clear labelling helps ensure that recycling and waste are correctly sorted, minimizing the chances of contamination and solid waste generation. It also improves recycling frequency and efficiency.

    Recycling receptacle options 

    Plastic or rubber bins are a standard recycling receptacle option. There are many variations, and they typically offer clear labelling, allowing for easy and effective waste separation. Trash and recycling bins are also reasonably priced. However, they come with some hidden costs. 

    First, trash bins take up floor space and can be challenging to move, costing money and affecting the area's overall layout and workflow. They also create an obstacle for forklifts and other machine handling equipment. This makes them more likely to be struck, leading to additional fees associated with frequent repair or replacement. 

    A cost-effective alternative to traditional recycling bins is Beaverswood's Racksack products. Learn more below.    


    Optimize recycling practices with the Racksack 

    The Racksack is a simple, cost-effective, and space-saving waste management solution for warehouses and industrial workspaces. 

    It is a reusable and durable trash receptacle, made from waterproof polyester and equipped with an S-hook for easy installation on almost any hookable surface. The Racksack can be suspended from the end frame of racking systems, freeing up valuable warehouse floor space and eliminating obstacles for machine handling equipment. This minimizes storage costs and the need for frequent repairs and replacements. It is also lightweight, weighing only 2 lbs when empty, but can carry 42-gallons of trash.  

    The Racksack has easy-to-read labelling variations stenciled on the side, making trash separation simple. It is available in 14 text designs and five international designs, including:
    • Blank, aluminum, wood & timber, building material, electrical, general waste, litterman symbol – no text, plastic only symbol – no text, and various other combinations. 
    These features are offered at a low cost, providing a cost-effective way to implement effective recycling and trash separation practices throughout the warehouse. 

    The original Racksack is also available in a clear variation (found in the PDF catalog). The transparent design allows for easier identification of incorrect disposal. 

    Other Racksack products include: 
    • Racksack Mini. This is a smaller version of the original Racksack, ideal for small racking areas and workspaces.  

    • Racksack Rollcage. It is a twin pocket sack designed to be hooked onto roll containers. This allows for easy collection and trash separation on the go. (Also available in the clear variation). 

    • Racksack Nano. A compact reusable waste bag for forklifts and pallet jacks. Equipped with an easy-release bungee cord and a Velcro strap on the mouth, allowing for secure installation and effective trash separation. 
    • Racksack Trolley. Available in single or double-pocket versions, these trolley sacks are ideal for hooking on the handles of trolleys, offering another portable solution for trash collection. 

    Detailed descriptions of these products can be found on our website or in the downloadable warehouse products catalog.

    For more information email ted@warehouseiq.com.