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Waste Reduction

Whilst the majority of businesses are operating at reduced levels of capacity, why not take the time to look how to reduce waste and implement new systems to make your business leaner and save costs going forward for when we all return to normal.

In our next series of free articles Quality Improvements will share with you, ideas for reducing waste within your business, saving money, and improving the environment.

Waste is expensive, it costs UK industry many millions of pounds every year.

However, many companies do not know how much they actually spend on waste. When you consider the value of raw materials, energy and wasted labour, the real cost of waste is often several times the cost of disposal alone.

The standard waste hierarchy specifies how priority should be given to the way we deal with waste.

  1. Prevention

  2. Re-use

  3. Re-cycling

  4. Recovery

  5. Disposal

In general, the higher up the waste hierarchy you reduce your waste, the greater your cost savings will be.

Preventing waste in the first place through careful purchasing and better utilisation of materials is the best way to make dramatic savings in your waste costs and reduce your impact on the environment. Use less materials in design and manufacture, you could sell items you no longer want to earn extra money for your business. You could also donate them to charity, schools, etc.

Where waste cannot be prevented completely, try to re-use, or re-purpose the waste your business generates. Clean, repair, refurbish and re-use equipment or its composite parts as spares.

Following this, you should aim to recycle as many of the products in your business as possible through turning your waste into a new product.

Recovery of energy from waste comes through incineration or anaerobic digestion of your waste

Disposal of waste to landfill should always be the last resort.

Waste reduction will help you comply with the requirements of ISO14001: 2015 Clause 10.

Do not forget to look out for our next instalment.

Best wishes from the team at Quality Improvements UK Ltd.

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