Managing all the waste of an organization efficiently and cost-effectively can be a challenge. Therefore facility managers must find ways to reduce or reuse the waste their buildings produce.
As Cleaning and Maintenance Management points out: the way an organization handles its waste is closely related to the overall effectiveness of its facility management. Good waste management practices can help a facility save money, reduce its environmental impact, and improve its image. The first step in effective waste management is understanding the waste types generated at a facility. Waste can be classified as either solid or liquid, and each kind of waste presents unique management challenges.
Solid waste can be any garbage or other discarded material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations. Liquid waste includes sewage, stormwater runoff, and processed wastewater. As both types of waste can harm the environment, facilities need to have a plan for properly disposing of it.
CMM listed 5 steps facility managers can follow to reduce waste and improve any facility’s environmental performance.
Regular waste audits
By identifying the areas where your facility produces the most waste, you can focus on finding solutions. Start with finding and addressing the root causes of your facility’s waste. Even simple changes, like using more recycled materials, can make a big difference.
Analyse current approach
Consider the type and amount of waste produced, the source of the waste, and the environmental and financial costs of managing the waste as well as the potential solutions for reducing waste. With these in mind, facility managers can develop a waste management plan tailored to their facilities. Let’s say you want to reduce the amount of paper waste your facility produces. You can do this by switching to digital documentation and communication.
After conducting an audit and analysing your current approach to waste management, implement a plan to reduce waste. This plan should include specific goals and objectives as well as strategies like switching to digital documentation and communication, or recycling, composting, and reusing. The important thing is to find solutions that work for your facility.
Asking employees for their input on the plan will help ensure that everyone is on board and increase the chances of successful implementation. When employees are invested, they are more likely to make an extra effort to reduce waste.
Track the amount of waste produced and the costs associated with managing that waste. Periodically conduct waste audits to follow your progress and stay on schedule with your objectives.
If you are not making progress, it’s crucial to identify why and make appropriate revisions. For example, if you cannot reduce the amount of waste produced, you may need to increase your recycling or composting efforts. Overall, monitoring your progress and updating your facility management strategy is essential to the success of your waste reduction plan.