The Ultimate Guide to Waste Management in 2022
4th Dec 2021
Almost every business creates a certain amount of waste. Whether it is packaging from products that are to be sold, waste materials from manufacturing, or just paperwork in the office, ensuring that you are dealing with your waste effectively and responsibly is vital. There are several aspects to the management of your waste that you need to think about as a business – and this can all be carried out under the role of waste management.
Effective waste management is important not just for the everyday functioning of your business, but also in terms of your reputation, keeping staff happy, and attracting a good level of new recruits.
What is Waste Management?
Waste management in a commercial environment is the practice of managing your waste – this can include anything from looking at what waste is produced and how often, to considering any recycling equipment that you might need, to organising the collection of and payment for commercial waste.
Some businesses allocate a specific person within the company to take control of their waste management, whereas others prefer to pay an independent company to do it for them.
Involved in the practice of waste management, are:
- An initial site survey that looks at the amount of and kind of waste that is produced by the company, what materials can be recycled, and what their specific needs are
- Creating a waste management plan – looking at how the business intends to dispose of their waste in the most responsible, cost-effective, and efficient manner, goals for the waste management, who will be responsible for what, and how much it will cost
- Sourcing and looking after any specialist equipment that is required – including waste and recycling bins, balers or compactors
- Looking at whether skips are required, and if so, deciding on sizes and looking at costs
- Considering waste collection companies, how much they cost, and how often they collect the waste
- Ensuring that waste collection companies are paid – perhaps being a point of contact for them
- Creating and examining waste reports to ensure that the process is being carried out properly and effectively, and putting changes into place if needed
Waste Management Hierarchy
When it comes to the commercial waste that is produced by a business, considering its effect on the environment is an important factor. Trying to reduce the amount of waste that is put into landfills is essential for the world to fight climate change and preserve our ecosystems, and this is why a waste management hierarchy has been created.
The waste management hierarchy is as follows:
- Reduce the amount of waste that is being created
- Reuse as much of your waste as possible
- Recycle as much of your waste materials that cannot be reused
- Energy refers to the ability to use any waste materials to create energy – this could be biomass, or carbonaceous rubbish, for example
- Incineration is not a good option, but it does ensure that the waste materials do not go into landfills if they are incinerated
- Landfill should be a last resort – it involves burying the commercial waste in the ground
There are laws, rules, and regulations that stipulate that businesses should be trying to recycle as much of their waste as possible. Generally speaking, paper and cardboard, plastic, metals, and glass can commonly be recycled. Businesses can collect these materials and a waste company takes them away to be cleaned and recycled.
If you are collecting paper and cardboard, plastic, or metals, you could consider getting a specialist baler that compresses the material into a block which is then bound to keep it in shape. These are then easier to store and transport, facilitating the recycling of these materials.
Outsourcing Waste Management
Some businesses decide that it is better for them to outsource their waste management. Whilst you may think that it is more cost-effective to allocate someone from within your business to take care of the waste management, there are several reasons why many businesses prefer to outsource it. These include:
- A waste management company has the experience and expertise to ensure that you can recycle as much of your waste as possible – and get the highest rebates
- Waste management companies have the ability to streamline services to make it more convenient and cheaper for their clients in the long run
- Waste management companies have more opportunities to apply the waste management hierarchy, making it more environmentally viable for their customers
- The time that would be spent by employees on waste management would be saved, leaving the leg-work to the waste management company