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Waste management options

With manufacturing comes waste. However, when dealing with the excess of your particular trade there are options available for reducing the amount of waste produced and or dealing with the surplus. Simple waste management techniques can help your business save money as well. Below are a few tips and suggestions to help in reducing and managing your leftover materials.

The first step in reducing or managing any kind of program is participation. This isn't referring to employee participation so much as executive participation. The program has to be led from the top down for success to follow. If employees see that the top level executives participate and strongly follow the guidelines then they themselves are more willing to do so. The plan needs to be implemented from the top down. Words won't cut it.Everyone has to get involved and feel as if their part in the program helps to make a difference.

Tip #1: Look at what materials you currently are consuming and how much of it you then dispose of.Do some analysis to see if there are any additional uses for that material. Are there ways in which to retool the processes to utilize more of material?Ask for suggestions from your employees. The ones that deal with the material regularly may see something that you don't as an executive.

Tip #2: Shop around. Look at what you currently use for materials and see if there are other goods that can be used that are recycled themselves or more suitable to recycling.Remember that you don't want to lose quality grades and that costs might increase some.However, over the long run you may end up saving in other areas (disposal fees, etc). Be informed about the types of toxic wastes you are using. See if there aren't substitutes available. Make sure you dispose of any toxic wastes according to guidelines established for the well being of all.

Tip #3:
Change your shipping materials. Use corrugated cardboard instead of other materials. Corrugated cardboard can be easily recycled.

Tip #4:
Provide waste recycling bins. Carefully evaluate where they are placed.Make sure that the bins are easily accessible and close to the points of waste. For example, a bin placed next to a printer in an office. Most individuals will not go out of their way to make sure excess is being disposed of properly. Bins should be available with wide openings for ease of access. Don't make the process complicated.Make sure they are easily identifiable and labeled. If an employee can't tell easily what's supposed to go inside of the bin, they won't use it.

Tip #5: Make sure the bins are managed with care. Maybe you make it someone's specific duty to manage and care for the bins. If they are full empty them, if they are dirty or overly used, replace them and clean them up. If your employees see that the bins are being taken care of and that it is making a difference they will continue to use them with confidence.

Tip #6: Make sure your recycling and waste management programs are made known to employees. Don't just send out a memo and hope everyone reads it. Place signs and placards in high traffic places. Make it a part of training or staff meetings. Most importantly lead by example.

Tip #7: Check and work with suppliers to see if you can use returnable and reusable materials for transport, etc. Simple things like reusing pallets can save lots of money and trees.

Tip #8: Eliminate the disposable paper products used in offices and break rooms.Encourage individuals to bring their own mugs, silver ware, etc. Provide access to a sink and dish soap. For company parties and events change out the paper linens for real ones.Use glassware and silver ware. It may take a little more effort in the clean up, but the savings will be worth it in the long run.

Tip #9:
Donate or sell unused or non-functioning equipment. Maybe another company has the ability to fix a machine that you no longer need.

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