Benefits of Material-Based Waste Segregation vs General Waste

waste segregation

Warehouses produce significant garbage, but without proper waste separation, much of the recyclable and non-biodegradable materials are sent to landfills, adding to the growing amount of solid waste created annually.

Waste segregation is a recommended strategy for warehouses to reduce their environmental footprint while optimizing waste management practices. Learn more about the benefits of material-based waste segregation below.


General waste is the garbage that goes to the dump. Typically, these are materials that cannot be recycled or composted. This includes food, non-recyclable plastics, cooking oil, soiled wrappers, hygiene materials, etc.

Material-based waste segregation involves separating waste into different elements or materials. An example of this would be separating general waste from recyclable waste. However, separation is often broken down into smaller categories. This is discussed below.


According to a 2018 report by the World Bank Group, the world generates approximately 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste each year. In 2018, the United States accounted for about 292.5 million tonnes (according to the Environmental Protection Agency), and Canada created 35.5 million tons (source). Unfortunately, much of this waste is not disposed of properly, and poor waste management is one of the culprits.  

General waste systems are vital tools for waste segregation, but they are often not used correctly. This is often accidental as many are unaware of what is and is not allowed in general waste (e.g., leaves and lawn clippings). However, when waste separation is unavailable or easily accessible, many people default to general waste systems, and thus, more solid waste is sent to landfills. This is a big issue in facilities that produce large amounts of mixed waste, like warehouses. Material-based waste segregation can help reduce the frequency of improper disposal.

It is important to separate general waste from recyclables, but recyclable materials should also be separated. These materials are processed differently, and improper sorting may turn recyclables into general waste. For example, glass and paper are both recyclable. However, if a glass bottle is smashed, it cannot easily be separated from the paper. Therefore, both materials will likely end up in a landfill instead of a recycling center. Separating recyclables (and non-recyclable materials) at the source reduces contamination and solid waste generation.   


Waste management accounts for about four to five percent of company turnover. Although waste segregation can help minimize environmental impact, companies may be hesitant to implement these practices because of time and budget constraints. However, poor waste separation and collection will likely cost more than it saves.

The five most common types of waste created in a warehouse include:

  • Organic matter
  • Glass/metal/plastic
  • Paper/cardboard
  • Hazardous and toxic materials
  • Residue (e.g., soiled or wet materials)

Most warehouse waste can be recycled. However, inadequate waste disposal and separation options will increase solid waste generation. Additionally, it can disrupt workflow and pose potential safety risks.

For example, soiled or wet materials will likely contaminate “clean” materials if placed in the same receptacle, resulting in all recyclable and non-recyclable materials becoming general waste. Similarly, sharp options can pierce a bag or bin. Without adequate labeling, workers may not know what is inside the receptacle and risk harming themselves when emptying it.

Poor waste disposal options can also cost companies money. When there are few disposal workers are likely to hold on to waste until they find a space to dispose of this. For example, forklift operators frequently remove shrink wrap from pallets throughout the day. When they hold onto it 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. Having several waste sorting receptacles throughout the facility can help avoid situations like this and minimize other issues caused by improper disposal. It can also improve organization and productivity.


The Rack Sack is a reusable trash receptacle for warehouse and industrial workplaces. It is an affordable, space-saving, compliant, and versatile option for waste segregation. 

The waste segregation product is made from tough, waterproof polyester capable of holding up to 42 gallons (159 L) of trash. It is equipped with S hooks making for easy installation on racking uprights or any hookable surface. 

The Rack Sack is designed to save valuable floor space while improving and simplifying waste separation. It is available in 14 text and five symbol-only designs that can be used for almost any recyclable material. Signage options include: 

  • Blank, aluminum, wood & timber, building material, electrical, general waste, litterman symbol – no text, plastic only symbol – no text, and various other combinations. 

The Rack Sack is lightweight, easy to handle, and costs only $49.50. It is also available in a smaller version, perfect for desks and smaller workbenches. Check out the Rack Sack Mini here.

Learn more about the Rack Sack and Rack Sack Mini in the following articles: 


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Which Warehouse Recycling Sorting Bins Do You Need?

recycling sorting

Warehouses and industrial facilities produce a lot of waste. It is impossible to eliminate garbage, but practices like recycling can help reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill and make the warehouses eco-friendlier. This article discusses recycling sorting bins and how they can be used to optimize waste management in the warehouse. 


Waste management is expensive, costing between four to five percent of company turnover. The cost can increase when poor waste collection practices are implemented. Recycling is an excellent way to keep waste organized while minimizing environmental impact.   

To better understand the necessity of recycling, it is important to look at the types of waste produced in a facility. Warehouse waste can be categorized into five primary types:  

  • Organic matter
  • Glass/Metal/Plastic
  • Paper/cardboard
  • Hazardous and Toxic materials
  • Residue (such as soiled and wet materials.)

One of the most common sources of waste in a warehouse is packaging and scrap materials that are taken off products, and most of this is recyclable. However, a large amount of this packaging will be sent to landfills without recycling options. Additionally, inadequate waste disposal options can disrupt the fast-paced workflow and pose potential safety risks to workers and material handling equipment. 

For example, forklift operators frequently remove shrink wrap from pallets throughout the day. Many operators will hold on to stretch wrap until they find a place to dispose of it. However, doing this can lead to other problems. If the stretch wrap falls off the forklift onto the ground, it can wrap itself around the machine’s underside and bind the motors. This may cause permanent damage if it goes unnoticed, and removal can be tricky and costly. It can also be a tripping hazard to floor workers. Providing recycling sorting receptacles frequently throughout the facility, especially in high-traffic areas, encourages workers to recycle and minimizes the likelihood of improper disposal. It can also save money spent trying to fix issues resulting from improper disposal.  


Implementing recycling practices in a warehouse is not always an easy feat. There are many considerations necessary to ensure methods are efficient and effective. One of the first things to look at is space and budget.  

Having several recycling stations across a warehouse is beneficial and encourages habitual recycling from workers. However, warehouse space is valuable, and managers must determine if the value of the recycling receptacle outweighs its cost. For example, frequent recycling stations in an area where packaging removal is common would be helpful, but too many receptacles may disrupt the flow of traffic for material handling equipment. In contrast, too few recycling stations can slow down productivity and cause workers to waste valuable work time. Therefore, strategic and appropriate placement is essential.

Another vital consideration is labeling. Clear labeling helps ensure that trash is sorted and disposed of properly. This minimizes the number of materials that are recycled incorrectly and improves recycling frequency and efficiency.

Keeping these factors in mind, the next step is determining the type and quantity of recycling receptacles for the facility. This can be challenging in large workplaces like warehouses. Auditing is an excellent way to gain insight into a warehouse’s recycling needs. Waste management specialists will provide insight into how much waste the warehouse is outputting and what measures can be implemented to optimize recycling practices. In addition, they may suggest other ways to reduce waste, such as switching to reusable packaging. 


Plastic and rubber bins are a typical choice for recycling and waste disposal. These are often effective options that allow for easy waste separation. However, a problem with bins in the warehouse is that they take up valuable floor space and create obstacles for machine handling equipment. Because of this, they are often hit, crushed, or broken and require frequent repairs or replacements. Therefore, warehouses are paying for the initial purchase of the bins and replacement fees. Bins can also be challenging to handle and transport. 

rack sack mini

An excellent alternative to recycling bins is the Rack Sack. The Racksack is a reusable waste receptacle that can be hung from almost any hookable surface. In warehouses, it typically suspends from racking uprights, but the Racksack can also be hooked onto desks, shelves, workbenches, and more. 

The Rack Sack is equipped with an S-hook, making it easy to install and takes up little to no floor space. This reduces the storage cost and minimizes obstacles for machine handling equipment (and replacement fees associated with impacts). It is also affordable (costing $49.50), meaning more Racksacks can be purchased for the warehouse. 

See more info about the Rack Sack

The Racksack is made from tough, waterproof polyester and weighs only 2 lbs, but can carry up to 42 gallons of waste. It also comes in 14 easy-to-read text designs and five international designs, simplifying trash segregation and minimizing instances of improper disposal. Labeling options include: 

  • Blank, aluminum, wood & timber, building material, electrical, general waste, litterman symbol – no text, plastic only symbol – no text, and various other combinations. 

The smaller Rack Sack Mini is ideal for a workstation or for use as a smaller waste collection receptacle. See the Rack Sack Mini here

Check out the following articles to learn more: 


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10 Uses for the Racksack® Mini

Rack Sack mini

The Racksack® is a reusable trash receptacle for industrial workplaces. It is hangs from an upright frame at the end of racking aisles and aids in waste segregation around a warehouse. It can also be used in any other industrial workplace. The Racksack Mini is a smaller version of the Rack Sack, perfect for spaces with less waste that needs to be collected or separated. Learn about 10 uses for the rack sack mini below.


Warehouses and workspaces create a lot of trash, and much of it is recyclable. However, to recycle waste, it must be separated accordingly. Signs and symbols can help inform workers where to put garbage, but it can be challenging to put signs on traditional rubber or plastic trash bins. And without signs, there is a higher likelihood of trash placed in the wrong containers. With the Rack Sack Mini, separating trash has never been easier.

The product is available in four standard text designs and three symbols, including a blank sack. These designs communicate to workers the type of waste it will collect, which can help minimize mix-ups and make recycling easier.

Rack Sack Mini design variations include:

  • Blank
  • General waste
  • Mixed card & paper
  • Plastic only
  • Mixed recycling
  • General waste symbol – no text
  • Plastic only symbol – no text
  • Mixed card & paper symbol – no text


Trash can quickly pile up in the workspace, especially when small trash bins are used and few bins are found around the facility. Several trash drop-off points around the workplace make people more likely to dispose of waste properly. It also means that receptacles will not fill up as quickly.

The Rack Sack Mini is tough, lightweight, easy to install, and cost-effective. A small, low quality trash bin typically costs around $20. The Rack Sack Mini is made from waterproof polyester, designed to withstand the rigors of an industrial environment for the low price of $49.95. This means multiple, high-quality receptacles can be purchased without breaking the bank.


Having a cluttered workspace can add unnecessary stress to one’s job. But without proper trash disposal, waste and debris will start piling up. The Rack Sack Mini can help keep spaces organized and stop messes before they happen. It also keeps the floor free of debris, minimizing tripping hazards and obstructing warehouse equipment operators. The different variations also make it easy to keep trash organized so it can be disposed of properly and efficiently.


In a warehouse, every inch of floor space costs money. Therefore, it is crucial to use space efficiently and effectively to maximize productivity. Traditional trash bins, even small ones, take up floor space, and it is essential to determine if the value of the bin outweighs the cost of the space it uses. With the Rack Sack Mini, floor space is not a concern since it is a hanging trash receptacle that can be easily installed almost anywhere.  


The Rack Sack Mini is made from reinforced, double-stitched woven polyester that is built to withstand many industrial practices. This means that sharp or dangerous garbage, like glass, can be disposed of safely, without concern of the receptacle breaking or tearing.


Traditional trash bins are typically equipped with bags that must be changed when full. These bags are prone to ripping and tearing, especially if carried far distances. When garbage bags break, the contents can leak on the floor, creating an additional mess and potential tripping hazard that must be cleaned up.  

The reinforced polyester makes the Rack Sack Mini tough and waterproof so that it can hold wet or soiled garbage without fear of leakage. This also means it makes for easy clean-up since it can be hosed down after emptying.


The Rack Sack Mini’s reinforced and easy-to-clean material makes it ideal for usage outside to collect organic waste, such as soil, plants, or similar materials.  


The Rack Sack Mini is an ideal option for smaller workspaces. The original Rack Sack dimensions are 39 inches high and 36 inches wide, leaving a capacity of about 160 liters. This makes it an excellent option for larger facilities that create lots of trash (e.g., distribution centers). However, this size will likely be too large for smaller workspaces. The Rack Sack Mini is 35.4 inches high by 24.4 inches wide. The small size and capacity are perfect for shelving, workbenches, conveyors, smaller racking areas, and more.


Although the Rack Sack Mini is designed with industrial spaces in mind, it is not well-suited for various workplaces. The compact size and easy installation make it ideal for use at home, in offices, at school, on delivery trucks, etc.


The Rack Sack Mini is fastened with two flexible “S” hooks. and can be hung or hooked onto almost any hookable surface, from a racking upright to desks or shelves. Bungee loops or wall-mounted hooks are also available and additional “S” hooks can be purchased if necessary. 


Check out the full sized Racksack here.


Interested in distributing this product? Send inquiries to [email protected] Reseller certificate required. More info here.


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How the Racksack Trash Receptacle Saves Your Company Money

Rack Sack trash receptacle by Racksack® Blue.

Trash management in a warehouse can be costly and can generate unnecessary expenses.

That is because warehouse trash cans are expensive, large, heavy, and take up space on the warehouse floor. Forklifts and other powered industrial trucks must also navigate around trash cans, and many cans end up being hit, crushed, or broken by warehouse vehicles. 

A better and more affordable alternative to traditional rubber trash cans is the racksack® trash receptacle. The rack sack hangs from an upright frame, optimizing space and keeping trash away from warehouse traffic. Learn more about racksack and how it can save your company money below.


The rack sack is a reusable trash receptacle for industrial workplaces. It hangs from the upright frame using S hooks and is made from tough, waterproof polyester. The Rack Sack, made by Beaverswood in the UK, and sold in Canada and the US by Lean Inc is available in 14 standard text designs and five international designs, which can be used for almost any recyclable material. See it on the Store.



The Rack Sack offers unique features that solve many of the problems that come with traditional trash bins. These are discussed in greater detail below.


Warehouse space must be used efficiently and effectively to maximize productivity. Trash bins are often heavy, large, and sit on the floor. Money is spent maintaining the trash bins, but the warehouse space the containers take up also has value. Warehouses must determine if the value of the trash bin outweighs the cost of the space it uses. 

Warehouse space has a value based on the lease cost of land. This can be calculated by the circumference of the opening of the trash can divided by two multiplied by itself (squared) and then multiplied by π (3.14159265). 

Here is an example:

The 55-gallon Rubbermaid Brute Trash Can is 33” tall by 26” wide.

To calculate the square footage of this trash can, take 26” and divide it by 2 = 13”. Then multiply 13” by itself = 169. Now, multiply it by π (3.14159265) to get the number of square inches = 530.9. To get square feet, divide that number by 144”, which equals 3.68 square feet.

If the cost for warehouse space is $18 per square foot per year, then the storage of the trash bin is equal to 66.36 dollars per year in land use. Although this may not seem like a substantial amount, it adds up over time, and the space can be better used for something that turns a profit instead.  


Trash bins are often hit, crushed, or broken by forklifts and other material handling equipment. Therefore, warehouse managers must also invest in frequent replacements. 

It is recommended to place a trash can at the end of each aisle, so that warehouse workers do not have too far to walk to dispose of trash. A 55-gallon trash can costs approximately $100 each. If a warehouse has more than ten aisles, then this represents over $1,000 worth of expenditure to purchase trash cans. 


The life cycle of a trash can depends on how it is used and whether it is cleaned regularly. However, it is not unusual to replace a trash bin every five years. 

Based on a $100 purchase price, a five-year replacement schedule will equal $20 multiplied by the number of trash cans in the building per year. If there are ten trash cans in the building, the replacement cost would be approximately $200 per year.


A 55-gallon trash bin can hold more than 55 gallons of refuse. Warehouse trash predominantly comprises stretch wrap, broken pallet pieces, cardboard, and twine. These are not heavy-weighted items, so a 55-gallon trash can will likely weigh no more than 100 lbs. when filled with trash.

Transporting 100 lbs. of trash in a 55-gallon trash can is not easy. The way the handles are placed makes it inconvenient to pick up. It requires a warehouse worker to bend over at the waist and lift an awkward load or drag the trash can behind them. 

55-Gallon trash cans are low to the ground and hard to see

Standard 55-gallon trash cans are 33 inches tall (slightly less than 3 ft). A warehouse worker between 5 and 6 ft tall would have to look down to see a trash can. It may also be challenging to see if that trash can is not placed in the line of sight. 

Putting signs or print words on rubber or plastic trash cans can be challenging, but this is vital to improving trash segregation. The words may also need to be in several languages. Without signs, there is a high likelihood of having trash placed in the wrong garbage, making recycling difficult. 


Calculating the cost of a trash bin involves looking at the replacement cost of a trash can and the land cost of storing it based on the square footage it consumes. 


With a land cost of $66.36 per year and a replacement cost of $20 per year (based on a five-year life cycle), the final price of a 55-gallon trash bin would be approximately $86.36. This number would be multiplied by the number of trash cans in the facility. If there are ten trash cans in the warehouse, the annual cost to purchase rubber trash cans would be over $860 per year.


The Rack Sack is suspended from the end frame of a racking system. Because it does not sit on the ground, it does not consume warehouse floor space. This reduces or eliminates the cost of storage. In addition, the Rack Sack is less likely to be struck and damaged by industrial trucks such as a forklift or an order picker, which minimizes replacement fees. 

The Rack Sack carries 42 gallons of trash and has easy-to-read labeling, making trash segregation simple. It is made from waterproof polyester and weighs only 2 lbs. when empty. This makes it lighter to pick up and carry than a 55-gallon trash bin. 

The Rack Sack also comes with various signage stenciled on the side. Options include: 

  • Blank, aluminum, wood & timber, building material, electrical, general waste, litterman symbol – no text, plastic only symbol – no text, and various other combinations. 

The Rack Sack costs $49.50. Therefore, in addition to saving warehouses money on space and maintenance, it costs half the price of a 55-gallon trash bin. Because it is affordable, this also means that more can be purchased to collect trash around the warehouse. 

Why would you want to have more trash receptacles around a warehouse? 

Having more trash receptacles in a warehouse ensures that workers can dispose of waste efficiently and adequately. 

For example, forklift operators often have a box cutter on hand to remove the stretch wrap from pallets. The operator will usually stow the stretch wrap on them until they find a place to dispose of it. Having additional trash receptacles around the facility allows operators to dispose of trash quickly and easily. 

Clear labeling on the Rack Sack also ensures things are disposed of properly. For example, when the stretch wrap is left on the floor, there is the risk of it being picked up by material handling equipment. The stretch wrap can wrap itself around the underside of equipment and bind the motors. Removing this can be tricky and often involves hiring a technician to clean it out. And if it is not found in time, it can permanently damage the motor, catch fire, or stop the machine from working. In addition, forklift technicians can cost upwards of $130 per hour, so not disposing of trash properly can accrue additional, hefty fees. As such, multiple trash receptacles can improve efficiency and cleanliness, minimize needless walking, and may reduce repair costs for warehouse equipment. 


Interested in distributing this product? Send inquiries to [email protected]. Reseller certificate required. More info here.