Waste Management Focus – FMJ Feature
Our Head of Sustainability, Nathan Gray, recently provided some insight to FMJ on how a strategic approach to waste can reduce costs, increase recycling and even generate new income.
FMs and property managers are under increasing pressure to devise a bespoke strategy to maximise recycling and minimise disposal within a legislatively compliant approach. Some leading waste suppliers describe how they can help clients manage their waste more efficiently to maximise waste streams, maximise collections volumes and minimise collections.
Next time you’re procuring a new waste supplier, take the opportunity to step back and look at what you want to achieve from a longer-term and broader perspective. Do you have a corporate CSR or sustainability strategy? Do you measure and report against annual environmental targets? Are you considering how a waste supplier can help you deliver on short and long-term objectives? In Helistrat’s view, it’s not just about minimising disposal and maximising recycling to comply solely from a legal perspective. We believe that waste is a resource that can deliver real commercial, environmental and social benefits. Businesses should avoid simply procuring on a like-for-like basis and try to be more holistic in the way they look at the ‘value’ a supplier can bring to your business. Getting a client to understand and embrace our philosophy of value, is the first step we take together at Helistrat. A key part of this is helping clients change how they view waste. Waste is only rubbish when its value is neglected. That’s why we believe it’s imperative to change the language from ‘waste’ to ‘resource’. By designing out the concept (and language) of waste, and simultaneously creating systems that segregate and capture different resource streams to optimise for recycling or repurposing, our clients can:
- Save on general waste removal costs
- Increase the number of rebates recovered from recycled materials
- Discover new resource streams that could have value for that client in their own internal supply chain
- Help deliver on a client’s sustainability or corporate social responsibility objectives
To achieve all the above, we conduct gap analyses firstly to identify any existing opportunities currently being missed in the legacy waste processes and secondly to establish what internal targets/expectations already exist within the business. This can include:
- Reviewing existing documentation (e.g. waste transfer notes)
- Reviewing existing sustainability or CSR strategies to identify how new processes can help deliver on key targets
- Conducting material analysis of the waste to understand what exactly is being disposed of
- Mapping current waste flows within the designated area
- Understanding the messaging and communication that’s provided to employees around proper resource management. In other words, you can have the right system in place but if your people don’t understand why they’re being asked to do things differently, they’re more likely to mis-use or abuse that system
We then develop bespoke models based specifically on each client’s challenges. The foundation of all Helistrat’s models hinge on segregation. By understanding the waste streams that are being produced, we can implement effective segregation systems to capture the different resource streams and ensure they’re being optimised. Increasingly today, the quality of recyclable material is as, if not more, important than the quantity. The standard of materials expected by reprocessors is much higher than previously and we subsequently expect to see less and less co-mingled DMR (Dry Mixed Recycling) and more and more segregated recycling going forward. By creating models for our clients with a more holistic approach, we ensure legal compliance as well as delivering business, commercial, environmental and even societal benefit.