The ultimate aim of the “Zero Waste to Landfill” philosophy is to prevent any waste material (produced within an organisation) being disposed to landfill, which in turn offers a more sustainable route to resourcing for future generations.
But, a radical shift is needed from the industry when it comes to the basic thought process behind the complete life-cycle of a resource, especially if we are to deliver sustainability for a growing global population with the finite resources of the planet.
Luckily, technology and a better understanding of the data surrounding waste management is giving organisations a wider scope when it comes to managing their business resources. Many are at least embarking on the journey towards zero waste to landfill, a journey that not only delivers corporate and environmental responsibility, but can actually reduce business costs associated with disposal and generate revenue from recyclables.
The Journey of Zero Waste to Landfill
Within the zero waste cradle-to-grave, or even cradle-to-cradle framework, waste starts from the moment of production. There are a number of factors that can impact how much waste is produced. An example is by reducing the packaging of a product at the point of manufacture, the weight and cubic space required for transport is reduced before it even leaves the factory, offering cost savings and the lessening of waste in the ecosystem of the products’ complete life-cycle.
No matter what stage waste is produced you still have a decision to make on how to remove it. Typically, for those that aren’t familiar with managing waste, the simplest option at face value would seem to be to get a general waste bin at what seems to be a low cost and find someone to dispose of it. This is not only a poor outcome for the environment, but commercially it doesn’t stack up. Landfill tax continues to rise which means general waste disposal costs are rising year on year.
There are alternative options you can consider. Firstly, an audit of your waste management can uncover the type of waste you produce and what the best route for it would be. An example being food waste could be separated out and sent to an Anaerobic Digestion to generate energy. A simple audit applies the mantra of reduce, re-use, recycle and recover.
Corporate Zero Waste Policy
As management philosophy and corporate governance evolves, organisations are now looking to deliver zero waste to landfill policies from the planning stage. Products (and materials) are being re-designed to be more sustainable and waste management programmes are evolving to ensure efficiency, with cost savings usually following.
That said, zero waste strategies are not exclusive to the world of commerce and are being adopted in all areas of society, from homeowners and schools, to the public sector; all joining commercial, retail and industrial organisations in developing their own sustainability pathways.
Despite waste management historically being seen as a linear cost within a business, the need to become sustainable – compounded by growing levies and taxation – means that many organisations are looking at alternative models for waste and recycling that are focused on investment into the future, still with the ability to manage costs effectively. But, a concise zero waste philosophy can significantly reduce costs within a business across the life-cycle of resources.
What’s more, with the growth in numbers of businesses dedicated to waste and recycling processes, opportunities to capitalise on existing waste production is growing, creating additional income streams for many forward-thinking organisations.
Other Benefits of Zero Waste
In addition to cost savings and revenue generation there is the peace of mind that you are operating compliantly in accordance with the latest legislation. Environmental endeavour is not only great for the environment but it is also great for your brand positioning.
When implementing a zero waste to landfill strategy it is not as simple as just asking your current provider to divert from landfill. You will need a full audit trail which includes the end destination of all materials down to the ash produced from incineration.
At Helistrat, we help organisations design, build and maintain a ‘Zero to Landfill’ waste stream approach and proactively work towards 100% recycling, the initial stage of which is to gain a better understanding of existing waste management systems. This includes tracking every current waste stream to its final destination, or when it becomes a commodity, taking a transparent approach at every stage to check and cross-check information being submitted by service providers.
Ultimately, this zero waste to landfill model takes time to implement and it is always evolving. But, with an understanding that we need a fundamental shift in culture when it comes to resources and waste, coupled with corporate responsibility and pressure from government objectives, more organisations are at least starting the journey.
If you would like to find out more about zero waste to landfill for your organisation, why not contact us today.
Get In Touch
Fill in the form below, email us direct or call today for more information.