Profitable waste management: a close collaboration between client and service provider

February 26 2018

Profitable waste management: a close collaboration between client and service provider

Shopping centres, restaurants and retailers have a number of choices when it comes to waste management. In making the correct choice it is important to understand the true value of waste. In February Shopping & Retail SA discussed the details of waste management options in the retail sector with Bertie Lourens, CEO of WastePlan – one of the largest companies of its kind in South Africa and a respected leader in the field.

Bertie Lourens, CEO of WastePlan

“Effective waste management is a close collaboration between the client and the service provider,” said Lourens. “Such an understanding ensures that both parties are committed to proper waste management principles (waste reduction) and that both benefit financially as their collaboration starts paying off.

“Out with the old” – Waste management reinvented
The model of the past has been one of arms-length relationship between client and service provider. This approach does not support the new objectives of cost saving, revenue growth, sustainable reporting and preserving of resources.” This new model focusses on the objective of waste reduction and both parties benefiting from achieving this reduction.

The non-viable option is attempting a waste management programme through companies that:
a) merely transport and dump waste; or
b) place staff on the customer’s premises and outsource the removal of waste – incurring higher costs in the process.

In both instances waste reduction is not incorporated, nor is there any financial reward for recycling more.

“It is imperative to choose a company that has waste reduction at the core of its business model,” continues Lourens. “Reducing and recycling waste is the primary objective. The more WastePlan recycles the more rebates our clients get back each month. The business relationship is a partnership where both parties win financially through the reduction of waste volumes.”

Lourens points out that roughly two thirds of all waste has significant value. It follows therefore that the cost of separating waste at the source for subsequent recycling is considerably less than simply transporting it away. “This is where our clients participate actively,” explains Lourens. “Instead of sending waste to landfill it is sorted – ideally on-site – and recycled as much as possible. WastePlan separates waste on-site (at the point of generation) at shopping centres into two categories: wet and dry. Dry waste is then further sorted on site and then transported to WastePlan facilities– of which there are six around the country, for final sorting and compression and sold all over the world. Only the “wet” waste, mostly food waste, is composted for landfilled.”

What others consider rubbish is split up into various waste streams, such as Plastics, Cans, Glass and different types and grades of Paper and Cardboard. Some of these waste streams are then sent off to producers, where they either start a new life cycle as a bottle or paper or are used as raw material to create new products like roof tiles or building bricks.

“Choose a company that has waste reduction at the core of its business.”

Other so-called “wet” waste streams, such as food waste or organic waste, are sent to worm farms, fly farms or similar installations where they are converted to fertilised soil or liquid fertiliser. Garden waste can be turned into compost, and any other non-recyclable material can be used to make biofuel.

By implementing the above waste reduction processes, a tremendous savings on landfill space and raw materials is achieved, as well as reduction of green house gasses. Throughout this process the customer actively monitors activity through an online WastePlan app, and measure rebates received through the recycling process, resulting not only in a financial win-win method of waste management and reduction – but also peace-of-mind in the knowledge that waste is processed and recycled in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner.

Case studies
Amongst its blue chip clients in the commercial and retail sectors, WastePlan has a number of shining examples of effective waste management in place in shopping centres.

One such example is Lakeside Mall (see graph below). Here WastePlan has a sorting and compacting plant installed on-site, enabling efficient pre-sorting and compression of paper and plastic waste prior to shipment to its Germiston recycling factory. “Our own staff, plant and vehicles are operative at this site,” says Lourens. “And the customer has no third party concerns or related costs. In addition he enjoys measurable rebates received through resale of the recycled product.”

In such scenarios WastePlan trains kitchen staff in the art of sorting – and incentivises the Centre Management through rebates received on the recycled waste at the source. “We work in close collaboration with the client/ tenant in training their staff in the sorting techniques for wet and dry waste within their process areas. The benefit of this arrangement is efficiency and cost-effective waste separation, compression and packaging – ready for removal to the WastePlan factory.

Remember that better compression saves transport costs and increases the rebate value to the client,” continues Lourens.

Recycling must ideally comprise a 2-bin system
The WastePlan solution revolves around instilling a culture of recycling within the client’s environment, embracing the client as an important and integral part of the process.

Online reporting
WastePlan measures each client’s waste streams on a daily basis. This data is fed into the company’s sophisticated web-based reporting mechanism. Each client has full access to this information through a secure login on desktop or mobile App – from anywhere in the world.

Conclusion
For each kilogram of waste that we remove from the waste stream, you will see a double benefit: a reduction in landfill cost as well as income from the recycled product.

NEWS JUST IN

It’s all about awareness
As this story was about to go to print the following new and very interesting data on two malls became available from WastePlan:

1) These malls have achieved a constant reduction in total waste generated. This is much more positive than what it seems, says Bertie Lourens.
We have seen a similar trend in Cape Town amongst the 100 000 homes we collect recycling from. Over the eight years we have serviced these homes we have noted a downward trend in the total waste that is generated by them. In contrast the homes that don’t have a residential recycling collection service either continue generating the same amount of total waste, or it increases over time. This is due to an increase in awareness. Once you start thinking about what happens to your waste, you generally waste less.
It could be that the same phenomenon occurred in these malls and that is a very good upside if the malls choose the correct partner.
This is a very positive story, because as you reduce your wastage , your overall costs come down (or at worst stays the same).

2) At Lakeside Mall we now see a slow narrowing of the gap between the red line (waste to landfill) and the green line (waste recycled). This indicates that the percentage of waste recycled is increasing over time.

Future technologies
Looking to the future, WastePlan is always abreast of new developments and cutting edge technologies in the field of waste management.
Such technologies include:
• An on-site “digester” which breaks down food, resulting in biogas that is used for electricity generation and heat generation – and “digestate” which is then dried for use as compost or soil enhancer.
• “Fly farming”: this is a new and proven technology in which fly larva are harvested to produce a meal which is high in protein for use as animal feed.
• “Worm farms”: these are the same worms many householders use to break down vegetable matter, but on a far larger scale. Although the worms are very fussy eaters they do multiply well and the excrement is of high value.

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Arrange a FREE WASTE AUDIT for your Centre now.
Call WastePlan on 086 111 6699 or mail info@wasteplan.co.za

WastePlan will conduct a waste audit free of charge, apply its formulae to your current waste stream and will propose a service to manage your waste effectively.

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Future technologies
Looking to the future, WastePlan is always abreast of new developments and cutting edge technologies in the field of waste management.

Such technologies include:

An on-site “digester” which breaks down food, resulting in biogas that is used for electricity generation and heat generation and “digestate” which is then dried for use as compost or soil enhancer.
“Fly farming”: this is a new and proven technology in which fly larva are harvested to produce a meal which is high in protein for use as animal feed.
“Worm farms”: these are the same worms many householders use to break down vegetable matter, but on a far larger scale. Although the worms are very fussy eaters they do multiply well and the excrement is of high value.

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WastePlan is one of the largest companies of its kind in South Africa. The company believes in the value of relationships and strives to promote the same idea of close collaboration in its relationships with its clients, staff, service providers and recyclers.
WastePlan is partially owned by a Non Profit Company that uses its resources to change education amongst the poor in South Africa. It is also managed in an ethically and environmentally responsible manner and promotes its core values internally and externally.

“Changing the way we think about waste” is WastePlan’s motto, which has been in place since 2004.

WastePlan specialises in managing waste on-site in such a manner that it will save you money and reduce the waste you send to landfill.

WastePlan has operational presence in the following cities:
Pretoria
Johannesburg
Cape Town
Bloemfontein
Durban
Port Elizabeth
East London

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