When you operate a manufacturing plant or another commercial facility, it’s easy to grow accustomed to waste. After all, the items you don’t use when refining raw materials to create your products will naturally go by the wayside.
Rather than accepting your trash output as normal, put on your green thinking cap. Given the right steps to managing and reducing waste in your facility, your company can attain sustainability and budgetary goals you never thought possible.
Understand Your Average Output
Before you can do much else, you need to wrap your head around how much and what kind of trash you make. Rather than being a monolithic category, trash falls into many different streams based on the materials that make it up. When you isolate plastic or food waste as common waste products, for example, you can then specifically target and conserve waste in those streams.
While the processes that make your company hum are the main focus, don’t neglect what people within your facility throw away and where they do it. Knowing this information is vital, and can result in adding more indoor garbage cans or recycling bins and many other measures.
Form a Green-Focused Council
To jump-start a sustainability initiative that incorporates everyone, form a green council of interested staff. Ideally, it would contain representatives from every department to allow for a wholistic vision going forward. This keeps the conversation on managing and reducing waste in your facility going even as other priorities pop up. This green council’s work can be broad and may include:
- Educating workers on waste management
- Setting facility goals
- Reducing packaging materials
- Buying supplies in bulk
- Starting a recycling program
- Updating trash and recycling bin signage
Waste Exchange: Trash To Treasure
One final program that’s possible, and which deserves more explanation, is waste exchange. What one facility may throw in a landfill, yours may ordinarily buy from another source. Teaming up and taking on their trash saves you money while also keeping those materials from becoming inaccessible. It also works in the other direction—giving your waste to another company helps their bottom line while potentially saving you money on disposal.