Designers Choice is an importer and distributor of fresh cut flowers, with a 55,000 square foot facility located in Boston. The business receives shipments of flowers from South and Central America, assembles the flowers into bouquets and other arrangements, and ships these products to partners around the country. RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) began working with Designers Choice after the business had received waste ban enforcement from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for disposing of cardboard, a waste ban item, in the trash. The business welcomed recommendations from RecyclingWorks to help them return to compliance with Massachusetts waste bans, and proper recycling is now integrated into the company’s culture.
Designers Choice invited RecyclingWorks staff to visit their facility in October 2019 to help identify and discuss opportunities to improve their recycling practices. The company generates cardboard, materials for single stream recycling, and green waste from floral trimmings. Many Designers Choice staff members are native Spanish speakers, so management recognized that dual-language signage and training would be key for success. To help employees collect the proper materials for recycling and composting while keeping contaminants out of the bins, RecyclingWorks created customized dual-language signage featuring pictures of the actual materials they encounter at work.
Like many businesses, Designers Choice uses items that cannot be collected in a typical single stream recycling program, but can be diverted from disposal in other ways. For example, they prioritize reuse for their wooden pallets, and RecyclingWorks helped them identify a pallet company that will accept the broken pallets for recycling. Designers Choice also has a dedicated recycler collecting large plastic drums used for fertilizer storage, which were previously thought to have no outlet for recycling.
Through these programs, Designers Choice is projected to divert approximately 250 total tons of green waste, cardboard, and other materials, including rigid plastics and wood pallets, from disposal annually. Additionally, these small changes are making an even larger impact. Inspired by the company’s progress, many Designers Choice employees note that their increased awareness at work is leading them to make improvements in their recycling practices at home.
RecyclingWorks is a free recycling assistance program that helps businesses and institutions comply with Massachusetts waste bans and maximize recycling, reuse, and food waste diversion opportunities. To learn more about our no-cost technical assistance, call our hotline, (888) 254-5525, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.