CIG - Step 5

Waste Management

Where are your products going once the customer has them in hand? It is important cartoon character crossing a river on stepping stonesto think of a product's whole life cycle. This includes the product, packaging, and materials in your store.

There are three main ways to discard items: compost, recycle or landfill. Seattle has some great resources on what to compost, recycle or throw away. This website will help you figure out where each item should go. 

Bonus note: You may also qualify for no-fee hazardous waste material disposal and if you have metal or electronics to recycle, you can take them to Friendly Earth for free!

How can we improve?

All Industries: 

  • Take advantage of the experts in the Green Your Business Program to help you conserve resources and prevent pollution.
  • Start composting! Recycling and composting can be confusing, help your employees and customers by posting signs. Offer all three bins throughout your store and break areas. 
  • Replace items using Stepping Stone 7

Food and Beverage: 

  • Offer composting bins around your store
  • Offer reusable or compostable flatware


  • Offer a recycling or buy-back program
  • Partner with local second-hand boutiques to ensure your customers donate rather than discard unwanted items
  • Partner with a tailor who can mend or repair clothing