Waste composition analysis
When tackling waste your first action should always be an audit to understand what are your biggest impacts and priorities are....and that means getting the gloves on and investigating your bins!
- Divide out materials into categories of the same materials
- Weigh or grade the material by volume
- Identify the biggest or most expensive waste stream
Whole life costing
The next thing is to understand the costs of this waste fraction which includes:
- disposal costs by weight or specialist disposal
- raw material costs
- staff costs to process and handle
- equipment costs to process
The waste hierarchy was enshrined into UK law in 2011. It is the way all businesses should be approaching waste by looking at prevention, and reuse before recycling and disposal.
This is a good place to start coming up with ideas for reviewing the materials and processes that are creating waste in your business.
Circular economy thinking is the next way to approach your waste.
A circular economy package is being adopted by the EU and UK governments to close the loop on materials becoming waste. Rather than the current linear economy where things are made, used and disposed of, the circular economy requires goods to be made with their end of life in mind so they can be reused, recycled or composted. If things do become waste this is seen as a break in the circle.