Cost-saving strategies through TRUE's "Redesign" credits

Published on: 
29 Jul 2020
Susie Westrup

The next topic of our series on the cost-saving strategies within TRUE is our first credit category in the TRUE Rating System – Redesign. Check out the first article in this series that focuses on the Reduce category!  

The goal of TRUE certification is to divert all solid waste from landfills, incineration (WTE) and the environment. There are many economic advantages embedded in the strategies of the TRUE rating system that help businesses cut costs and generate revenue.  

One of the benefits of TRUE certification is expedited return on investment (ROI)Here are some of the top cost-saving or revenue-generating strategies within the Redesign credits of the rating system which illustrate the potential ROI for facilities pursuing TRUE. 


This TRUE credit category focuses on altering the life cycle of products within the supply chain in order to maximize its efficiency and cut down on unnecessary external waste. 

Credit 1: Right size collection containers and service levels 

Some municipalities offer options for “right size” collection servicesBy paying for a smaller bin that correctly matches the actual amount of waste producedthis “pay as you throw” or “save as you throw” concept could be applied to both homes and commercial facilities. This step immediately helps save on waste hauling expenses. 

One TRUE certified facility used to pay roughly $600-900 a week for cardboard disposal through a hauler. By investing $39,000 in a bailer and selling the cardboard to recyclers, they achieved a return on investment within 10 months. 

In San Francisco, Kilroy Realty and their tenant Salesforce worked with TRUE Advisors from All About Waste to achieve their TRUE Gold Certification for their commercial office high rise. Through the implementation of waste reduction strategies, including a switch to reusables instead of single use plastic in their break areasKilroy Realty’s recycling compactor reduced its size from 25 to 10 cubic yards. This contributed to their overall savings of $78,000. 

Another TRUE certified facility took a creative path toward “right sizing” by switching all of their waste bins to a smaller size and downsizing to one large dumpster. The dumpster is only hauled once it is completely full, ensuring that no unnecessary hauling costs are incurred. 

Credit 2: Restructure solid waste collection agreements for zero waste 

Collection agreements can be altered to maximize waste collection practices and cut down on collection costs, as well as overall waste. These agreements can be a win-win, offering positive incentives for both businesses and haulers to cut down on waste. 

Here is an example of one municipality’s commercial services rates, which match bin size and collection frequency to help facilities reduce empty waste bin expenses. 

Two-time TRUE Gold certified American Licorice Company was experiencing issues with waste collectors who were displeased with the sticky, unused candy waste generated from their facilityInstead, they discovered a company who was interested in purchasing their candy waste and signed a new contract, saving them $3,000 a year in their waste department.  

Credit 4: Complete review of supply chain 

The supply chain often accounts for the greatest portion of waste generation in the production process, which means that operations attempting to achieve zero waste goals must pay particular attention to this aspect of their business. Technologies which enable more efficient supply chain decisions are primed for growth. One study speculates that by promoting new technologies and reducing water and energy waste in China’s textiles industry, there is potential to generate CNY 0.3 trillion (USD 48 billion) in savings by 2040. 

At the Colgate-Palmolive TRUE Gold certified Hill’s Pet Nutrition facility, packaging material generates 20 plastic straps daily. The company worked with their packaging supply vendor to reduce the disposal and handling costs. The vendor provided the chipper while the company developed an action plan for the green straps. The strapping material is now chipped and recycled, generating a source of revenueThe plastic straps have also been eliminated from the dumpster, contributing to a reduction in waste handling costs as well. 

By paying attention to the design of your facility’s supply chain and waste system, you can discover major cost savings. TRUE offers several new ways to think about this system from a bird’s eye viewAchieving zero waste is a process and a way of thinking that profoundly changes our approach to materials. With TRUE, your facility can demonstrate to the world what you’re doing to minimize your waste output. If you want to start reducing your waste and saving on operational costs, apply some of these lessons and others from our TRUE certified projects. Download the rating system and our application to get started.