Taking a personalized approach to waste management

Taking a personalized approach to waste management

Waste Harmonics CEO Michael Hess describes how a personalized approach to waste management can help businesses streamline their operations.

June 27, 2018

There are many instances in life when “one size fits all” works just fine—think baseball hats or wristwatches. Yet, for every instance where a universal approach offers the best solution, there are many situations when an individualized—or personal—approach works best. Waste management is one of them.

A one-sized-fits-all approach to your business’s waste-management process can not only waste time across your organization, but money, as well. Conversely, tailoring your waste management practices to your company’s business needs can pay both time and financial dividends.

5 ways to put a personalized approach to waste management into practice

Start with the basics: Anyone embarking on the personal path to improvement starts by looking inward and doing some serious self-evaluation. Improving your company’s waste management practices requires that you do the same thing. Take an inventory of your waste policies, procedures and staff. Ask the tough questions. Although a formal waste management audit may sound like a tall and, possibly, costly task, it’s time and money well spent. An audit can give you the lay of the land, helping you to understand where your system is at and where you want to go. It can also help you to identify inefficiencies and best practices that will benefit your organization most.

Analyze, track and report: Just as people who are on weight-loss regimens may keep a food journal and weigh in weekly, once you’ve identified your company’s waste management needs, it’s important to track your progress. You’re probably already doing this for other areas of your business, so why shouldn’t you do the same for your waste management performance? Research and evaluate tools that will help capture and track cost reductions as well as generate reports on a regular basis to provide continual improvement and savings. Once you’ve identified the right tool, integrate it fully into your waste management process.

Optimize partnerships: The success of any self-improvement undertaking relies on being motivated, but no person achieves their goals entirely on their own. Neither can your company. Look for and optimize partnerships with vendors, government agencies and other companies in the industry, especially if you’ve set specific goals that you feel are important, but for which you can’t—on your own—justify the cost or resources of pursuing. Taking on alternative programs like zero waste to landfill and small- and large-stream recycling projects can result in a significant reduction in spending while helping maintain sustainability as a priority. Take advantage of a bevy of options without bearing the brunt of a program’s cost or workload.

Consider a broker for multiple locations: Many companies have multiple locations across broad geographic areas they have to manage—a situation that brings with it a seemingly endless number of challenges. A waste services broker can help. Brokers’ expertise is rooted in helping multi-location businesses optimize and solve their complex waste services puzzle. Make sure you find a broker who will treat you like a person, interacting face-to-face and hearing you, rather than one who will treat you like a number.  

Go remote: Technology makes people stronger, better and faster, but the internet of things isn’t just for tracking your workout or your health. Remote technology is the ultimate solution for personalization and waste reduction. Remote systems can monitor, measure and optimize your company’s waste and recycling processes. In fact, technology can manage fullness of waste receptacles and allow for remote monitoring of an entire power unit, including oil temperature, switching controls, safety features, container connections and system operating performance.

If you’re a multilocation business, remote monitoring’s benefits are invaluable. Each location may be met with personalized needs that can be addressed through one customized system that always keeps your waste management in check.

Remote monitoring also allows companies to troubleshoot and repair trash equipment issues, allowing for a quick response time, fast repairs and minimized machine downtime. Systems also can provide a real-time fullness status for compactors, including pickup and return status, pickup history, upcoming scheduled haul and activity logs. The remote systems eliminate the potential for human error in monitoring, while allowing teams to better understand their waste flow processes.

As the waste industry evolves and technology improves across the board, waste companies are working to improve waste management options, including applying remote monitoring to a wider range of functions.

Just do it

The combination of a serious waste management audit, a dedicated program of tracking and reporting, a commitment to partnerships, the use of a broker model and embracing the latest waste services technology offers a formula for helping your organization reach its potential. Overhauling your waste management processes does take a little bit of initiative, but it gets easier once you make the commitment to getting started. As the famous tagline says, just do it!