Asphalt Paving - Waste Management
Management of solid and liquid wastes is an important environmental and economic issue. It doesn't make sense to keep using more and more natural resources to manufacture products that have a limited life and will eventually end up as waste.And finding areas to locate new landfill sites is becoming increasingly difficult - few people want to have a waste depot located near them.
Smart business people are saving money and helping the environment by finding better ways to manage their wastes. This information sheet provides a few tips on smarter waste management.
Know your wastes - do a waste audit
The first step to smarter waste management is to identify all the waste you currently produce by doing a waste audit. Write down everything you throw out over a week.Which of these materials could be re-used for some other purpose or recycled?
Check with your local council and waste contractor about services that are available in your local area. As an example:
A waste audit of a fast food store found that the business was disposing of three x 3 cubic metre waste bins to landfill weekly. The business was complaining about the excessive cost of waste disposal. The waste inventory found that almost half of each bin was comprised of recyclable cardboard packaging and a considerable number of aluminium cans. Removing the cardboard and the cans from the waste stream to a local recycling contractor will result in considerable savings for the business.
When you are doing your waste audit why not also check your energy and water use? There are big savings to be made in more efficient use of these resources.When you have identified the types of wastes you generate in your business,develop a plan that will put you on the path to reduce, re-use and recycle.
Reduce: use less
Try some of these solutions for using less:
- Buy refillable or returnable products when you buy cleaners and aerosols.
- Use crockery cups instead of disposable polystyrene.
- Use both sides of paper.
- Cut your use of energy by turning off lights when they are not needed.
- Cut your water use by fixing water leaks and adopting cleaning methods that minimise use of water.
Re-use: find other purposes for your wastes
Try some of these solutions for re-using wastes:
- Re-use envelopes by placing labels over the original address.
- Re-use scrap paper as jotters or notepads.
- Re-use cardboard boxes and plastic for packing and wrapping deliveries.
- Insist that your suppliers deliver materials in returnable packaging.
Recycle more, and use more recycled products
Recycling is only effective if there is a use for the products that are collected and reprocessed. You can probably save money and help to 'close the recycling loop' by buying recycled products and by promoting their use to your customers. Many plastic and paper products (as well as construction and landscaping materials) are made from recycled materials.
One key to successful recycling is to keep materials separated, so that contamination does not occur. Contamination can make recycling impossible or too expensive.
Try some of these solutions for recycling:
- Liaise with your local council to check the recycling services available in your area and use them.
- Provide separate receptacles for paper, cardboard, cans, glass and non-recyclable wastes.
- Package your products in re-usable or recyclable containers.
- Start a compost heap or hire a mulcher for the day to recycle your green wastes.
Environmental Management - Getting Started
The 'environment' is one of the five top issues of concern to people in NSW and is predicted to be the number one issue by the year 2014.
The smart business person responds to community expectations by developing plans that meet community needs and place the business in a position ahead of its competitors. Acknowledging the importance of 'environmental management' in your business planning makes good marketing sense.
But many small industries and businesses do not have the resources to employ personnel to help develop comprehensive environmental management programs.This information sheet is designed to be used as a starting point for developing an environmental management program, and as a basis for setting environmental goals.
Ten points to consider in preparing an environmental management program
- Gather information : What are the environmental issues of concern - water pollution, waste management,air pollution? What are the key laws, regulations and standards that apply to you?What are others in your industry or business doing? Are there models you could learn from?
- Develop a draft environmental policy. Involve your staff.
- Do an environmental review or assessment of your business; identify risks,threats, opportunities and strengths.
- Firm up your policy by developing an environmental program with both short- and long-term targets.
- Tell staff about the policy and program, staff so that each person knows the company's commitment.
- Involve, educate and train staff in environmental action.
- Allocate environmental responsibilities.
- Integrate environmental management into your normal business operations.
- Communicate and promote your policy and program to your customers and the broader community.
- Continually monitor and review your policy, program and performance in the light of new developments.