How to Develop a More Efficient Waste Management Plan


Whether you are developing plans for specific projects or business operations in general, waste management should always be about efficient resource management. Rather than focusing on systems that prioritize waste collection and disposal, the best practice might be to view waste as a potentially cost-saving commodity that can be utilized through a framework such as low waste, zero waste, and more sustainable management of materials. With that in mind, here are some necessary considerations when attempting to develop an efficient waste management plan for any purpose:

Set the main objectives

Before a waste management plan can be developed, you need to set clear goals and objectives. This can mean minimizing the generation of waste, reducing and recycling created waste, using materials and products that minimize waste, using business operations that allow for low or zero waste, setting specific targets for waste types and volumes, etc. These goals will help to guide your planning process, and they can serve as a great motivator to continue striving towards your main objectives. Without them, it’s easier to stray off the path and forget what encouraged you to focus on better waste management in the first place.

Think more sustainably

Instead of focusing on waste management as is, it might be wiser to think of it in terms of more sustainable management of materials. When you develop an integrated strategy in which you make deliberate decisions regarding how all materials should flow, you will have an opportunity to create more specific tactics for dealing with different materials after their consumption. This process often includes the prevention of waste, reusing what you can, limiting generation, separating organic from recyclable sources, prioritizing efficient collection and transportation solutions, and finding more sustainable treatment and disposal options.

Avoid the landfill

Diverting waste from landfills is a crucial factor in effective resource management plans, with many countries around the globe even setting legislative requirements for organizations reaching certain diversion goals. The issue with that system is the fact that poorly sorted waste is often counted as being diverted from landfills, even though it ends up in landfills anyway due to the lack of usability. To avoid this process and truly avoid the landfill, it’s necessary to verify the fate of different waste types. You should know exactly which materials are compostable and which are usable for producing recyclable products.

Invest in equipment

Waste management systems can hardly be efficient without the right equipment. In many cases, containers, dumpsters, carts, compactors, and equipment for collection and transportation might be enough. But when it comes to larger waste producers, especially commercial spaces, additional equipment is often needed to ensure smooth processes. For instance, you can consider investing in trommel screens for separating materials effectively. Being innovative solutions designed specifically for the screening of waste, these systems can offer optimal throughput capacity and screening efficiency. This will help to streamline the more complex aspects of waste management.

Assign responsibility

Whether you’re working on-site or in a more traditional commercial setting, designating one person to be specifically responsible for managing waste can always be a good idea. This tactic can aid in ensuring that the previously designed waste management plan is actually being followed every day and throughout all operations. However, keep in mind that the person in charge of waste management has to be particularly enthusiastic about leading this project. Reducing and managing waste has to be a team effort, and it’s crucial that individuals know who they are and what they’re responsible for.

Be more collaborative

Another way you can plan for resource management more efficiently is by taking a collaborative approach. This means building self-supporting, sustainable partnerships with other businesses, vendors and suppliers, and even local governments. The main goal of these relationships should be cooperation and the formation of new waste management and recycling operations. Such collaboration can minimize negative effects, contribute to environmental sustainability, improve the livelihoods of individuals and enterprises, and possibly enhance the public image as well.

Focus on the process

Just like any other plan, creating a waste management system also means identifying where you are now, the goals you want to achieve in the future, the necessary steps you need to take in order to achieve them, and the factors you should measure in an effort to recognize progress. Planning is an ongoing process; the plan you make now should be evaluated in the future and considered an important insight into further planning down the road. The goal should be to prioritize sustainable improvements and efficient management standards, and strategic planning will enable you to continue delivering those improvements.

To ensure an optimal waste management system, all aspects of the cycle should be functional and sustainable. Ultimately, the main objective should be to reduce the generation of waste at all costs.


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