As the world slowly becomes more eco-conscious and governments all around the globe begin implementing greener legislation, waste management is becoming a more pressing issue for businesses across industries. Consumers now demand more conscious practices as well, but it turns out that better waste management systems could also be quite advantageous for companies, helping to save valuable time and money while benefiting the bottom line in the process. If any of these reasons have encouraged you to create a more comprehensive waste management plan as well, here are some tips to keep in mind for achieving success:
Measure your current waste
Every good waste management plan starts with an assessment. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate process; simply going around the premises right before the collection truck arrives will do the trick. Take a look at the bins, how many there are in each department, how much waste each area generates, as well as which types of waste it produces. Write down the sizes of all bins, estimate how full they are, and make a note of which. Once you collect this necessary information, you will have a better idea of the type and volume of waste your business produces over a certain period of time.
Try to reduce where possible
Reducing the amount of waste your company generates is one of the best methods for simplifying and streamlining waste management while being more sustainable as well. If you’ve performed a waste audit, identifying large waste producers and finding ways of minimizing them will be a much simpler process. That could mean eliminating one type of waste entirely, reducing waste on a department or company level, identifying suitable waste for recycling or composting, etc. Try to find methods for avoiding waste in all areas of operation in order to create a more manageable and efficient waste management plan for your business.
Minimize single-use products
Apart from the industrial waste you generate, it would also be wise to focus on the waste that’s created in the office. This aspect is often overlooked, but it could significantly aid your waste management efforts if done correctly. For example, you can equip the office with reusable alternatives to avoid single-use plastics, install drinking fountains instead of providing plastic water bottles, digitize your operations and go paperless to avoid paper waste, reduce or even entirely eliminate non-recyclable materials on product packaging, and reconsider your business partners and suppliers, and only choose to work with those attempting to minimize their waste as well.
Invest in the right equipment
Without the right equipment on-site, a waste management plan can hardly be effective. For that reason, it’s recommended to invest in high-quality mobile shredders for your premises. Being robust, easy to maintain, and efficient at shedding a wide variety of materials, a great shredder will allow you to manage the waste you produce much more easily. Then, you could also think about implementing waste chutes, compactors, crushers, or any other equipment that will help to increase the cleanliness and hygiene on your premises while streamlining your waste management system. The specific equipment you choose will likely depend on the exact waste you generate.
Focus on collection systems
Regardless of how your waste is treated, it also has to be collected, and collection starts on your premises. This means investing in bins that will eventually be emptied into a collection truck, most commonly bulk bins and wheelie bins. Ensure the bins are distributed appropriately around the business, according to waste production and need, and that they are clearly labeled, visible, and easily accessible. Depending on the type of waste you produce, it would also be wise to implement separate bins for recyclable materials such as paper, glass, and metal. This will ensure your waste is sorted correctly and make collection a simpler process.
Identify local waste collectors
The final step of the waste management process is working with collection services, or companies specializing in collecting waste and moving it to landfills, recycling plants, and other facilities. In most countries around the world, this process is done by local governments, but there are likely many private businesses you could partner with as well. Knowing the volume and the types of waste you generate will be crucial in identifying the best waste and recycling collection contractors for your specific needs. To find a list of the available collectors in your area, consider contacting local authorities or even performing a quick Google search to find an answer.
Attempt to engage employees
When attempting to create a better waste management system, keep in mind that everyone needs to be included in order for the plan to be efficient, from the shop floor to the boardroom. Only when everyone in the company makes an effort, change can be effected. So, aim to educate your employees about the impact of waste and the importance of waste management, whether it’s through workshops, meetings, or company-wide emails. You can also put up posters, create educational videos, provide welcome packs, or use any other helpful method that will ensure everyone in your business is fully aware of the best waste management practices.
Set your main objectives
Another thing that could be of great help when developing a waste management plan is setting clear, specific, and measurable goals. That could mean increasing the amount of recyclable waste, minimizing the waste you generate on a yearly level, making a positive impact on the environment, or simply representing yourself as a more conscious and mindful company to consumers. Regardless of what your main objective actually is, having a specific goal in mind will make you more likely to actually achieve it, and it will help to motivate everyone in your business to strive towards a common goal of better waste management.
Waste management can often be a challenging and time-consuming task for businesses, especially when it comes to sectors that generally produce large volumes of industrial waste. But simply by following the tips mentioned above, you can easily create a great waste management plan that will certainly be successful.