Guide for Office Waste Management
Managing of office waste is vital, it helps boost productivity and boost employee morale. It also helps save money, improve profitability, and reducing tax obligations. Customers and employees aim to preserve the environment and limit the amount of waste; a solid waste management plan needs to be in place.
It is essential to understand the office waste hierarchy before developing the strategy.
Office Waste hierarchy:
It is an approach to managing waste within an organization. It illustrates the most effective ways of managing waste and disposal methods, in terms of which is best for the environment. The different options, from the most to least desirable are as below;
- Avoid the use of a product:
It may involve reviewing the current practices or looking for opportunities to automate processes.
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:
Reducing includes; double-sided printing, buying what you need, etc. Reusing involves the items in the office instead of throwing them away like reusing paper printed on one side as notepads. The recycling rate is vital to improve in an office and reduce the waste you send to landfill. To succeed at this, sort the products in specific waste streams and ensure after separating them, they are not contaminated.
There is waste which you cannot prevent, reuse, or recycle. However, some of these may have value in the form of recoverable energy or other by-products. It will prevent some negative GHG impacts of disposing of the waste in landfill. There are different processes of recovering the additional value of garbage. Some extract energy directly, and others convert the waste in various types of fuel to use later. The procedures may include anaerobic digestion and thermal treatment.
It involves disposing of the waste in the ground through a dug hole. It is essential to do this safely and send the landfill waste to a licensed facility. This needs to be the last option.
The steps for managing office waste are:
There are some activities that you need to deliver an office waste management plan successfully. They include;
- Gathering data:
For you to have a strong office waste management strategy, you will need to measure the improvements against the initial performance. It involves quantifying the current waste from each office. You will also need to provide a baseline to measure success. It helps to identify offices that have an above-average amount of garbage.
There are some sources available on carrying out waste audits. They will give information on office waste and the possible disposal routes for the standard waste streams. Office managers can use them to develop their format to measure and report misuse that suits the requirements of the organization.
- Identifying the options available for waste reduction:
The waste reduction strategy needs to reflect on the findings of baseline waste information. The priorities usually differ from the offices. The measures of reducing waste are in two categories namely;
- Raising of waste awareness and encourage people to reduce waste:
This may involve;
- Introduce waste as a performance measure for managers.
- To update staffs regularly on waste and recovery rates.
- Changing of products, technologies, and processes to prevent any wastage.
Some examples of this approach include:
- Maximize on using electronic media to communicate
- Set the default settings for the printer to be double-sided prints.
- Determining the segregation and storage strategy:
The waste audit indicates the waste streams in the office, and this is the basis for a segregation strategy. The most common waste streams include; paper, toner cartridges, plastic cups, stationery, and electrical equipment.
- Set the targets:
All good waste targets will meet the SMART criteria such that they are;
- Specific – It states the extent of wastes and activities to include.
- Measurable – They are clear on how to measure the progress.
- Achievable – It needs to reflect on the finding of the baseline survey and must emanate from the external benchmarks or national targets.
- Relevant – It must consider any impacts on the actions the organization will take.
- Timely – It needs to have a date of achieving the target.
- Appointing a waste management company:
The primary role of the waste removal company is to collect and process waste streams, who follow all the legal procedures of waste removal. They may also provide other services in assisting the office manager in the implementation and reporting of the strategy like;
- Quality audits to ensure no contamination of segregated waste.
- To confirm the destinations of waste streams.
Contact the waste removal company and get immediate clarification on all doubts over office waste management.
- Monitoring the progress:
It is the final step in implementing an office waste management strategy. It involves calculating and reporting the results. The office waste disposal will provide these data;
- The volume of waste that was collected by the stream.
- The waste recovery rate.
Having a proper waste management plan does not have to be. There are information and guidance for managing office waste. It is necessary to prioritize the critical sources of waste. For the strategy to succeed, the following are essential;
- An informed workforce.
- Collection and separating facilities.
- A waste contractor’s guidance.
- To monitor and report the progress to individually responsible for the targets.