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Waste management: 12 Step Guide

As a survey reveals FMs worry most about compliance… here are some top tips on managing waste and recycling

A new survey has revealed that facilities managers consider waste management to be their number one environmental priority, ahead of energy management, carbon footprint and handling hazardous materials.

At the same time however, over three quarters of those questioned feel more concerned about the risk of non-compliance with waste management regulations than they were a year ago.

The results were disclosed in an exclusive survey of facilities professionals carried out by FMJ in partnership with Grundon Waste Management. Other issues included engagement and employee communication, segregation of waste and being able to measure results.

Grundon’s Stephen Hill, Head of Sales and co-author of the new guide entitled The Facilities Managers’ 12 Step Guide to Developing a Winning Waste Management Strategy, said: “It’s clear that dealing with waste management legislation provides the biggest headache for FMs.

“They tell us they are concerned about how to best ensure regulatory compliance across all their different waste streams and the consequences of getting it wrong, which can be both serious and expensive.

“In undertaking this survey, our goal was to gain greater understanding of some of these issues and to provide helpful advice and information which will set them on the right track to increasing their recycling and meeting their waste management goals.”

Understanding the different waste streams that an organisation produces is the logical starting point as FMs need to understand all the regulatory considerations. These include who is responsible for each different stream; how it is handled; the policies and procedures already in place; and who collects, recycles and treats it.

Carrying out a facility-wide waste audit will help establish these answers – this is something an organisation can carry out itself, but working with an expert waste management provider can often deliver more opportunities and help spot where changes can be made.

Analysing bills will also provide a better understanding of the true costs of waste and help see where extra efficiencies could be achieved through improved segregation, reduced disposal cost, or the adoption of new processes.

By establishing the baseline of the current level of waste generated, and fully understanding the waste types, volumes, weights, and the cost of treatment and disposal, then realistic targets and goals can be set.

These could be:

  • Achieving zero waste to landfill
  • Improving recycling rates
  • Reducing carbon footprint
  • Achieving financial savings
  • Introducing new waste services, such as food waste or paper cup recycling
  • Putting an environmental policy in place

Ideally, both short-term and long-term goals should be set and integrated into a meaningful and achievable waste management plan.

About Sarah OBeirne


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