Commercial property owners often struggle with waste management. In a lot of cases, it is simply because they underestimate the amount of waste that they have to deal with and also the costs of handling this waste. On top of this, some issues arise when working with local trash haulers and multiple vendors.
Managing waste streams is critical for commercial properties. You can surely manage by subscribing to a collection service that will give you dumpsters where you can deposit the waste and not deal with it after that. But it will often be quite inefficient and the costs will spiral out of control.
Regulatory compliance is another problem to deal with. You have to take a more active role in how you manage waste if you are to be compliant and also reduce the environmental impact you are making through your business. Commercial waste management is all about taking a more holistic approach to waste management and not leaving any stone unturned to gain efficiency.
For Waste Control, our work with commercial businesses such as retailers, office buildings, restaurants and such has thrown up some interesting insights into how commercial buildings can get maximum benefits out of their waste management program. Here are our top picks. Read on!
Know Your Waste
It’s surprising how many commercial property owners and teams do not know the types of waste they produce and the quantities they are produced in. This is important information to plan out your waste management strategy. We almost always begin with a complete waste audit where we do not just understand what types of waste are being produced. We also look at waste generation hotspots and how waste is currently dealt with.
An audit can often show some surprising results. You will be able to eliminate a lot of waste in the next step and you can also plan for the various types of waste subsequently. Knowing your waste also tells you if you have any hazardous waste to deal with, which waste products can be reused, and other useful information.
Sort Waste at the Source
Whatever you choose to do with your waste in subsequent steps, one thing you should most certainly do is to segregate your waste at the source. Source separation has a lot of benefits to offer. It helps you keep track of the different types of waste being produced. You also don’t risk contaminating the waste with other waste materials during the process. This makes it easier for you to reuse some of these waste materials. It also helps to maintain the quality of the waste if you are sending it off to a recycling program.
Source separation is not easy to achieve though. You need separate collection processes for the various kinds of waste at the point of generation, you need your staff trained in separating the waste efficiently as well. You will also need to place separate bins including recycling bins and organic waste bins for each type of waste and provide proper signage to educate everyone in the facility about how to dispose of waste without mixing it in other bins. You may also have to give some incentives to your staff to encourage them to use these bins and help in sorting waste.
The 3 most important mantras of waste management if you ask us. The first step of any successful waste management program is waste reduction. Finding ways to cut down on waste can be painful at first but if you find other ways to manage this, it will help you keep your waste management costs under check massively. It will also reduce the complexity of the process if you manage to eliminate a type of waste altogether so that you don’t have to find a vendor or think about disposing of this kind of waste.
Reusing whatever possible from the waste you produce is another important step. You should focus on finding creative ways in which waste can be reused. This could also be off facility. Say you find someone who will use your paper waste for some other process. You can then sell them the paper waste in bulk so it finds use elsewhere. A lot of the common waste products are reusable. You have to put on your thinking hats and find it.
Recycling is another critical priority in waste management today. There are recycling services and vendors who will take most types of business waste and turn it into products that are of use. Food waste or organics is the easiest example to consider and also the most effective. By composting organic materials, you save tons of greenhouse gas emissions which would have been a reality if it had been sent to landfills. Similarly, recycling paper products saves trees.
Make sure that you are separating out the recyclable materials at the source and that you can keep this as clean as possible. It will enhance the quality of the waste and you would be able to command a better price for it.
Track Your Waste
One other thing you have to be doing is keeping records of your waste management process. Record what waste products are being produced in what quantities, how much of it is being recycled, how much waste is reduced, and of course, the costs incurred.
This helps a lot in maintaining regulatory compliance. It is also a great way to showcase the success of your waste management efforts. You need to show tangible results to get more people on board and this is how it works in most businesses. Tracking also helps you understand areas where improvements can be made.
Hire a Waste Management Company
Not to toot our own horn too much, but the difference clients feel working with a professional waste management company like Waste Control vis-a-vis local waste services is stark. Our clients tell us this every day. One of the best ways to manage your waste stream well is to rely on a waste management company’s expertise rather than choosing to do this on your own.
There are quite a few benefits to this. Not having to work with multiple vendors is the first one. You can consolidate all your waste management billing into one, and you just have to worry about that. The administrative costs come down significantly as well.
Most of the steps we discussed above will be taken care of by the waste management company including waste collection, commercial recycling of waste, waste removal and hauling, waste disposal, and also other factors such as training your staff and doing audits to get more efficient with your waste management process.
Commercial waste management isn’t a straightforward process. But like most waste stream management processes, having a solid strategy helps. It can reduce the effort you put in, keep costs in check, and make your process more efficient.
As we are living in a time where business costs are spiraling and you need to leverage every small advantage that you have, efficient waste management is critical in keeping your bottom line healthy. Having experts who can help you is the best way to go.
Waste Control has vast experience helping commercial properties with their waste management problems. We help you cut waste management costs by 15-45%. Get in touch for a customized quote!