Keeping track of waste management can help reduce costs and promote sustainability. Many facilities produce more refuse than they realize and throw away materials that could be recycled or reused. The data collected from tracking is invaluable for waste management, which comes with benefits that may be surprising.
It can be challenging to find the right facility waste management strategies, but these tips provide some inspiration for where to start.
1. Use Digital Tools to Keep Track
A great place to start with waste management is by establishing an effective way to track it. Digital tools are the best choice for this due to their functionality and versatility. There are various free online options available, such as Energy Star’s free-to-use Portfolio Manager. A spreadsheet can easily be created to fit specific waste tracking needs and goals for a more customized approach.
2. Conduct Regular Waste Assessments
Conducting a waste assessment is a vital step toward discovering optimal management strategies. The waste assessment process can reveal valuable data about what materials are being thrown away, the effectiveness of current practices, and pinpoint the operations or types of garbage most in need of attention.
The information collected through a waste assessment can provide a solid basis for a refined waste management strategy tailored to an organization or facility’s specific goals. Conducting them regularly is a good way of seeing how the plan is performing in action.
3. Sort Waste
Taking the time to sort waste comes with a couple of benefits. Pulling out recyclables so they can go to centers instead of landfills is good for the environment. The categorization process also allows facility managers to collect data on what exactly is being thrown away at their site. Are people utilizing recycling bins? Is one kind of material being thrown away noticeably more than others? These are the kinds of questions that can be answered by sorting items before throwing them out.
It is crucial to research recycling options, as well. People may not realize that electronics can be recycled, from computers and printers to batteries. Some kinds of plastics may need to go to specialized centers to be repurposed.
4. Start a Waste Management Team
A dedicated individual or team focused on waste management will be much more effective than doubling up another employee’s existing responsibilities. This might get overlooked at first, but it is a key part of a facility’s success, capable of reducing costs, improving sustainability and ensuring organizations get the most out of their materials. A specialized waste management unit will maximize strategies and streamline their performance and execution.
5. Analyze Data
The waste management strategies described above collect significant amounts of helpful data. It is vital to make time for carefully analyzing that information regularly. It will uncover how to refine initiatives to boost effectiveness.
For example, records may reveal that a significant quantity of paper is discarded every week, but plastic waste has gone down in response to recycling efforts. Information like this is highly useful for identifying where exactly a facility is producing the most trash, whether it’s one or two departments or one kind of waste. It will also reveal over time whether methods are working well or not. That data allows the strategy to hone in on the facility’s greatest needs.
Why Waste Management Matters
Waste management isn’t just about filling fewer dumpsters. Minimizing its production is a vital step toward creating a more sustainable world, a goal that helps the global community. Tracking waste also allows facilities to find areas to save money by purchasing less or discovering new ways to reuse or recycle refuse. An effective facility waste management plan goes a long way.