Getting rid of stuff
By Reg Barichievy, Smart Waste
As long as mankind continues on its present path there will be waste – most of us love the toys and we consume way more than we should. And for long there is waste there will be a need for a recycling service.
Recycling separates the general waste from the materials, which although they may look like waste, can be re-used. The general waste – the stuff which must be disposed of – is the broken and yucky stuff, broken glasses and nappies. Mixed up with the general waste is however a treasure trove of stuff which can be recycled.
If one picks through a wheelie bin and takes out the recyclable materials one can reduce the volume of waste by between fifteen and ninety percent. The factors which cause the variation are the location of the wheelie bin eg in a factory with a lot of packaging or a home or a shopping centre. Other factors include the time of year eg when stocking shelves in a supermarket or after Xmas at home the wheelie bin will probably be completely full of recyclable material.
A good average to start with would be to extract thirty percent by volume of each wheelie bin. The resulting decrease in the cost of removal and the saving in landfill space is immediate and can be considerable. A waste management company which offers recycling can provide this service.
The modern recycling specialist however goes a lot further than sorting and recycling general waste. A good recycling specialist will assist the client in finding alternate uses for its waste product. There is always a solution, although some may not be practical or feasible, usually because of cost.
Training staff and management and assisting with waste reduction programs is an important part of putting an organization on a greener path. This extends to awareness programs and incentive programs for staff, learners, projects and organizations.
“If you can’t measure it you can’t monitor it”, goes the saying so providing monthly reports on the volumes of general waste and the mass and type of recyclable being produced by a client provides management with a tool to measure the efficiency of its process.
In addition the recycling specialist will offer an independent certification that hazardous materials have been safely disposed of and provide a record of how waste is treated and disposed of, part of the “cradle to grave” record which is becoming more important.
The recycling specialist of today does so much more than the hump and dump of waste which used to pervade much of society – and still does – in some places.
As long as we choose to consume so much we owe it to ourselves and to our environment to ensure that we are recycling as much as we can.