Waste Management Programs: Save Money by Reducing Waste

 In Blog

We live on a planet with finite space and infinite waste. It is a problem for our society; it affects both human and environmental health. 

Fortunately, businesses are finding ways to reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill by recycling, combusting for energy recovery, and treating for destruction (according to the EPA). These methods are being embraced for two reasons: there is less and less space in landfills and disposing of waste is becoming more and more expensive!

Graph of Production-Related Waste Management

Production-related waste management metrics for facilities from 2007 – 2019.

Sending resources back into the supply chain through these methods is a key component to circularity; as trends continue upwards, businesses that act as early adopters of effective waste management programs will receive the most cost savings. 

In order to make the business case for implementing a waste management program, it is important to consider the goal of zero waste from a holistic perspective. This includes educating and empowering employees with an opportunity to improve the company’s environmental impact. An effective waste management will save money not only on reducing the amount of waste produced, but also have a long-term effect on the company’s approach to resource use.

Here are the steps to developing an effective waste management program:

First, commit to a circular economy. 

The goal is, of course, zero waste, which is accomplished by directing all resources back into the supply chain. This involves reducing the amount of waste your business generates, but also, directing more of the “trash” into recycling and compost. 

Second, understand how much waste you generate. 

This can be measured by implementing technology like sensors or devices that weigh the garbage bins, or by conducting a manual waste audit. In either case, it is important to know how much waste your company is contributing to the waste stream. Although many commercial garbage services will offer general information when you pay for trash or dumpster removal, they do not provide the granular data required to make actionable change. 

Third, create quantitative metrics for improvement. 

Simply put, you cannot manage what you don’t measure. In order to save money and cut your company’s expenses, it is important to get better insight into your waste management program. Companies like Compology, Evreka and Smart Trash provide IoT sensors and devices to help measure the amount of waste you are producing, but this is only one part of the process; once you have the data, it is important to assess how you can improve! Having a dedicated facilities manager or continuing to partner with a company like Smart Waste to analyze the data from waste audits will support waste management best practices; this includes employee education and proper waste sorting, which results in long-term savings and improves environmental health. 

Regardless of your sustainability goals, every company can benefit from saving money through implementing a smarter waste management program. Sometimes, it can be as simple as adding one more bin to your waste program; in other cases, it involves strategic planning and expert analysis. 

Smart Waste handles every aspect of your waste management plan, from equipment leases to full program implementation for waste sorting, recycling, hauling, and trash removal – book us for a complimentary consultation to understand what steps your company can take to save money and reduce trash!

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