We’ve long ago learned the motto: Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse. And it’s easy to apply on a personal level. Using a refillable water bottle instead of plastic, bundling your newspapers and cardboard for recycling, or even refurbishing old furniture or electronics. But when we take a look at our workplace and the waste stream created within, it can seem like a more daunting task.
Benefits of Waste Management
No matter what industry you’re in, from manufacturing or medical to agricultural or energy production, you produce waste. Take a look at these seven benefits of implementing industrial recycling into your waste management program. There are many elements that make up waste management, including water treatment, providing roll off dumpsters and consulting.
1. Reduce Costs
There are costs associated with disposing of unused materials and commercial by-products. By finding ways to reuse waste, inside your company or through a third-party, you can help to reduce these expenses and improve your bottom line.
Additionally, you can also reduce costs by purchasing raw materials made from recycled materials. Aluminum, for example, is one of the fastest and easiest materials to recycle and is used in numerous manufacturing industries. But you’re paying almost twice as much when you purchase fresh aluminum over recycled aluminum.
2. Save Resources and Energy
The most important benefit of industrial recycling is the fact that you are putting less strain on the Earth’s resources by finding ways to reuse or recycle industrial waste. When industrial waste materials and by-products are reused, it decreases the need to produce new raw materials. Less waste also lessens our need for landfills, allowing that land to be used for other purposes, and reduces the greenhouse emissions and other gas pollutants that originate as waste in landfills breaks down.
Using the EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM) tool you can put concrete numbers to your waste reduction efforts. With the tool, you can calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions you prevented through alternative recycling or reuse methods.
3. Create a Sustainable Brand
When your business strives to be sustainable, you can anticipate that there will be social benefits of industrial recycling too. It shows a commitment to the future of your community, which can be easily become a competitive advantage over the rest of the market.
A 2014 ranking of the 50 Best Global Green Brands, measured on sustainability efforts and public perception, featured four automotive brands in the top five, followed by three electronics brands. Two industries that have long carried a stigma of being environmentally unfriendly are now reaping the benefits of making sustainable changes.
Make your business sustainable by utilizing Waste-to-Energy recycling.
4. Create New Jobs
The process of recycling industrial waste includes transportation, processing, and reselling; all of which necessitate manpower of all skill levels. Recycling and reuse creates at least nine times more jobs (up to 30x more jobs at the most!) than landfills and incinerators. Additionally, it’s projected that if the U.S. can reach a 75% recycling rate by 2013, we can create 1.1 million new jobs.
5. Be More Efficient
When waste is not properly cared for, you can run into issues in the future that require time and money to resolve. When you introduce waste management practices, you can run your business more efficiently and allocate resources to growth initiatives rather than disaster response.
6. Stay Compliant
Local, state and federal governments require various waste practices for community safety and environmental concerns. These requirements will vary between industries based on the waste different operations create. Responsible waste management can help your operation comply with these regulations and prevent penalties in the future.
7. Meet Green Building Certification Requirements
The U.S. Green Building Council gives companies certifications based on their environmental practices. Waste management planning plays a role in this certification, and with the right approach, your company can become certified. Doing so can make your company more competitive in its industry and improve your building’s operational efficiency.
Keys of Industrial Waste Management Planning
When your operation produces waste in large quantities, waste management planning can feel like a challenging process. Four key points to industrial waste management planning can help you establish a reliable process for the long term. Take time to address these areas.
1. Pain Points
Before you can create a management plan, you need to identify what processes you struggle with. Perhaps you find it challenging to keep up with a tank cleaning schedule, or you have more liquid waste than you know what to do with. You may also find it difficult to meet government regulations for proper waste disposal on top of other regulatory processes. Once you identify your pain points, you can guide your planning to address these challenges first.
How much waste can your operation handle before it’s too much? Depending on the business you run and your facility size, you may have different limits for waste accumulation. Assessing your waste thresholds can clarify which waste types need more attention than others, and how much waste you can accumulate before it becomes unsafe.
With the thresholds you’ve identified, you can create a schedule for your waste management processes. Think about how often you create certain types of waste and how often you’ll need to respond. Waste types that pose more risk or accumulate faster will require more frequent handling. Other types that develop slowly can survive with less management.
After you’ve determined your pain points, thresholds and frequencies, you can turn to a waste management professional to help you follow through with your plan. Management and recycling professionals can provide resources your operation may not have, so you can remain safe, compliant and efficient every step of the way.
At VLS Environmental Services, we partner with your team to create the ideal waste management plan for your operation. Rather than leaving the planning up to you, we use our expertise to guide your company. With our wide range of services, OSHA compliance measures and access to disposal resources, we ensure your company enjoys the many benefits of waste management.
Contact VLS Today for Waste Management
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of industrial recycling?
Contact VLS to get started with an on-site waste assessment and see how your business can take the first step toward sustainability.