At Annie’s, we work to compost or recycle as many of our materials – like coffee grinds and paper – as we can. This year we took a look at our resource recovery numbers and realized we were using assumptions that inflated the weight of our compost. Like most companies that keep careful track of their waste management, we must use conversions instead of the actual weight because our waste hauler tracks data in terms of volume. We now have a standardized set of assumptions from our waste hauler that will improve the accuracy of the data we get.
We know our waste numbers can be even better, however, so in the coming fiscal year, we plan to weigh the contents of our dumpsters to get the most accurate densities. We recalculated our waste disposal figures for 2012 using the same factors as 2013 so we can compare across years. As our resource recovery infographic shows, we’ve significantly increased the percentage of our materials that get recycled and composted since last year, from 48% to 62%, and we’re confident we’re getting closer to the most accurate number.
MOOP Game Spotlight
We want to keep as much waste out of landfills as possible, so we piloted a game at our office that addresses the eternal question: “What goes where?” We call it the MOOP game, which stands for Matter out of Place. To play, employees study a photo of a landfill, recycling bin, or compost bin, emailed to them in the Annie’s weekly newsletter. Then, they decide what items in the photo are out of place (or “MOOP”) and where they’re supposed to go. In the case of a compost bin with a plastic bottle in it, for example, the plastic bottle is the MOOP, and it belongs in recycling.
We’ve now played one round of the game and handed out prizes at the end for participation and to those who had the most correct guesses. During the first round, we overheard a lot more conversations about “trash” around the office, and we’re looking for ways to continue the momentum — especially since our employee headcount is growing so fast. We might even decide to play again soon!