Waste is the dirty toilet which is not talked about in polite company. Everyone knows their toilets need to be cleaned but they would rather someone else does it. So why – if you don’t want to talk about it – do you want to read about?
If one starts to think about waste as an indicator of how sustainably you are operating it puts it into a larger context. That report you routinely throw in the bin can show, in black and white, backed up by hard data, how sustainably your business is operating. And that is important.
Waste reports show, using hard data, how sustainably your business is operating
Smart Waste provides its clients with a report at the end of each month. Monthly, because that is when the data on the amount of general waste becomes available. It is also when the volumes or masses of recyclables and hazardous materials become available.
The general waste and recyclables are combined in a report supported by graphs, if required. This shows what percentage of waste is being taken to landfill and what percentage is being recycled. The percentages vary according to the type of site. A shopping centre has a different waste profile to an industrial estate. Whatever the percentage it is the trend which is important.
Like the stock exchange we always want the trend to be up. This means we are recycling more and throwing away less. Which is interesting but why is it important? There are several reasons, some of which are industry specific. All industries require management and as the saying goes if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.
Waste reports are like stock reports, we want an upward trend
The report which Smart Waste provides is a tool that tracks over time the performance of the business. Is the business using more resources, is it wasting money? Some businesses do not know how much material they use when they make something. The waste report can show them.
Larger industries tend to obtain certifications of standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The report is an independent tool which shows the auditors that there is a standard in place to measure and track quality and the sustainability of the business. More and more businesses want to be seen to uphold certain minimum standards.
A restaurant which provides bad service will be disliked on social media. Big business may be disliked with a qualified audit. The report provides a monthly trend to show whether the business is operating sustainably. Managers can – if they read the report – take note of a downward trend and react timeously.
Even if you are not a restaurant or a big business most organizations want to show compliance. The report is an independent record of compliance. Where necessary Smart waste also issues Safe Disposal Certificates to verify that hazardous waste has been disposed of in accordance with legislation. Or a Recycling Certificate to verify that a material has been re-engineered responsibly.
Waste reports show how you can save, the environment and your pocket, if used correctly
In addition to the report Smart Waste accounts to the client for the income from the sale of the recyclables which it arranges. Smart Waste also arranges for specialist sub-contractors to remove materials. Hazardous materials and things like sludge require dedicated vehicles and licenses to handle. To ensure that the report is comprehensive these materials are included.
Smart Waste is able to assist organizations in becoming more sustainable. The starting point is a waste management plan. Smart Waste will inspect the site and assess all the waste being generated. The volume, quality and continuity of each waste stream is determined. Then a plan is put in place. It may include medium to long term goals which take account of financial constraints and allow time for buy in from stakeholders.
Once approved, Smart Waste will implement the waste management process, managing each aspect of the operation. At the end of the month we produce one invoice and the report. The report is an indicator of how sustainably we are conducting business.
The recent world-wide protests are just the beginning. The youth are taking the lead in demanding change and I predict this will continue. If we cannot live and work sustainably then the youth will have no future. The waste report is an indicator of this.
Instead of throwing it in the bin maybe we should read it. And act on it.
Picture: Website Café