In addition, the salon installed hand dryers in the bathroom to reduce the use of paper towels, started using dryer bars instead of softener sheets in the dryer, repurposed old towels by donating them to a local pet grooming salon, and collected color boxes to be recycled into business cards. When it came to the study, Kane says his staff went out of their way to participate. “It was amazing to see someone standing over a trash can, contemplating whether something was trash or a recycled item,” he says. “They loved seeing the weekly tally of ‘stuff’ we had saved, and our clients became involved through our weekly posts of our waste audit results.”
But the process wasn’t without its challenges. Kane says Terracycle has yet to come up with a solution for recycling the used wax applicators depressors with wax and hair on them. “Besides Sushi Saturdays, that was the worst part about sorting through the trash,” he says with a laugh. “In the end, there are some things you just have to throw away.
click image to zoomSustainability Consultant Tamara Jercha, founder of the National Association of Eco-Friendly Salons and Spas, and Larry Kane, who owns Jonathan Kane Salon and Spa in Flossmoor, Illinois, with his wife Kathleen, partnered up on the Zero Waste Study. (Photo by Lauren Salapatek.) The whole team was surprised to learn how much they were able to reduce their waste to the dumpster, as well by how many things can be recycled. “We cut down the amount of our trash by 75 percent,” says Kane. “I also was able to save money by reducing our frequency of trash pickup, and we are saving points through TerraCycle which can be used to purchase their products or be donated to charities.”
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