With the Circular Economy Package’s targets becoming more ambitious and national recycling targets reaching higher than before, packaging and recycling firm, DS Smith has highlighted five ways for businesses to Improve waste management…
it’s increasingly important to ensure that businesses are equipped to make the right decisions about your business’s recycling and waste management processes.
Waste management training, while upskilling the work force, can help to support your decision-making and can encourage your organisation’s buy-in of new, more efficient recycling and waste management practices.
But who is it that needs the training? Is it just the team directly responsible for waste management, or the wider workforce? Surely, everyone has a part to play in reducing waste and improving recycling?
What role does your waste management partner play in all of this? Should they be working with you to provide education and training? If so, what have they done in their own organisation to make sure they are passing on best-in-class advice and techniques?
At DS Smith, two of our goals are to delight our customers and lead the way in sustainability. Many of our recycling and waste professionals are accredited members of key trade bodies, and we win awards for the work we’ve delivered for our customers.
But, what waste management training right for you?
If you’re wondering what training is right for you, we think you should have the discussion with your waste service provider first. They should be your source of expertise on how to waste less and recycle more.
Get more from your waste management
The first goal of any recycling and waste management system is legal compliance. Over the years, legislation has increasingly governed how organisations deal with their waste arisings. But achieving legal compliance should be seen as the minimum standard, not the goal.
Some mistakenly believe that more sustainable waste management practices come at a financial cost.
But this doesn’t need to be the case, and very often the reverse is true. Best practice recycling and waste management can improve efficiencies and benefit your bottom line, as well as the environment!
So here are 5 ways in which you can improve your approach to recycling and waste management.
1. KNOW WHAT MATERIALS YOU’RE PRODUCING
Conduct an audit of your estate with your waste management partner. They should advise you on areas where your recycling can be doing more for you – and whether there are any areas of your business that can be improved to prevent material loss.
Cardboard in your general waste? It can be recycled. Even the best-organised businesses are often surprised to find out how much recyclable material is still ending up in their waste bins.
Challenge your waste management partner to work with you to make sure that all material that can be recycled is recycled.
2. DEMAND TRANSPARENCY
You need to know the details of your waste management. Who collected it? When? How much did it weigh, and what was the end treatment process?
Your waste management and recycling partner should be able to give you accurate data on your arisings, tonnages, and transport. That will allow you to report on your successes and to compare your recycling rate month-on-month, so you know when you’re meeting your goals.
3. ARE YOUR BINS REALLY COLLECTING WASTE?
If your bins are collected half-empty twice a week, or if recyclable materials are going into general waste, you’re losing out.
Make sure your waste management partner gives you the right sized bins for your waste – if your bins are too big, you are paying for fresh air to be collected. So if you have increased recycling collections, make sure there is a corresponding reduction in your general waste collections.
4. SET YOUR OBJECTIVES
You should know what materials you’re producing, and where your largest arisings come from. You should also know how many bins are being lifted – and what’s going into them.
Develop a new plan with your waste management partner. Make sure it’s efficient and focused on reducing waste and maximising recycling. With less waste and well segregated, good quality recycling, you can benefit the bottom line with reduced costs and increased revenues.
Remember, though, that each site will have its own challenges. A one-size-fits-all strategy might be difficult to implement, so make sure you set objectives that can be delivered on a site by site basis.
5. ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES
From the boardroom to the shop floor, everyone in your organisation can make a difference to your recycling rates. Your waste management provider should support you with educational promotion materials to ensure that all of your employees know what best practice looks like.
Whether it’s welcome packs, posters, videos or training, your waste management partner should be able to tell you how to get your teams on board.
Do you need waste management training?
Whether you think your teams need waste management training, or you’re working with a provider who brings that expertise to the table, your recycling and waste management doesn’t stand still.