There are a number of causes of poor waste management and they can all be tackled with the appropriate amount of attention. Imagine you’re working within a retail business and find yourself knee-deep in polythene wrapping - what could have been the cause of this?
Let’s explore some of the causes of poor waste management and discover some ideas to combat these inefficiencies.
- Lack of Public Awareness
- Refusal to Learn About Compliance
- Insufficient Investment in Waste Management
- Lack of Proper Machinery
1. Lack of Public Awareness
One of the first causes of poor waste management is a lack of public awareness or, more specifically, lack of awareness within businesses and poor attitudes. Often, when something is at the end of its use, the way it’s disposed of can be done so with a lack of care.
According to the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), businesses produce a quarter of all of England’s waste. Professionals in any industry need to realise that simply because something has come to the end of its usefulness, doesn’t mean it can be discarded without proper management.
It takes management-level buy-in to create a good waste management strategy. Without the right enthusiasm or determination, it can be impossible to solve any issues.
Similarly, without the right awareness of the effects of poor waste management on efficiency, the environment and human health, it can be hard to find a reason to put the time and effort into waste management. Some employees will not even know about the kind of financial benefits the right waste management strategy or system can bring.
2. Refusal To Learn About Compliance
Businesses have a responsibility to remain compliant with rules and regulations regarding waste management. There are quite a few of these rules in place within the UK. For example, when transferring waste to a registered waste carrier, you need to produce and complete a waste transfer note.
That is just one of the regulations currently in place, which have also changed over time. A lack of awareness surrounding this legislation or a refusal to comply can result in large fines or even jail time for those responsible. Because of this, it’s crucial that you take the time to teach yourself and your colleagues about waste management regulations.
To learn more about waste disposal regulations, read our blog on the subject.
3. Insufficient Investment in Waste Management
This factor is related to the previous one in that some individuals will want to remain non-compliant in order to save money. Illegal waste sites or fly-tipping is evidently cheaper than legitimate waste disposal because it doesn’t work within the proper environmental or lawful regulations.
While it’s cheaper, it’s never worth it. For example, recently a businessman in Telford was ordered to pay £11,600 in fines for operating an illegal waste site. Another company in Hertfordshire was fined over half a million pounds after illegally storing tonnes of combustible waste.
On top of that, old waste management machinery can be a real hazard. It was the case in 2018 that a large furniture retailer was fined a six-figure sum due to an operator being severely injured as a result of inefficient equipment.
Illegal waste practices can represent short-term savings, but the punishments are never worth it. They also mean you won’t benefit from the potential revenue streams that can come from properly managing your waste. For example, did you know that polystyrene is recyclable and that it’s a valuable resource for the construction industry?
4. Lack of Proper Machinery
This can be a big issue for companies. A lack of waste management machinery, such as balers and compactors, can make it difficult to implement a truly efficient waste management strategy.
For example, machinery can bring:
- A reduction in waste volume, guaranteeing easier transportation and storage.
- Better operational efficiency through acting as a dedicated spot for waste to end up.
- Improved hygiene and safety by acting as enclosed spaces for waste while it’s being either baled or compacted.
Without machinery, the efficient way of disposing of waste, businesses can be left poorly managing the disposal of waste.. These could be taking many trips to landfill (and incurring the attached costs) or even resorting to flytipping, a crime which could mean a fine of up to £400.
Waste management solutions represent truly efficient investments for companies, but what do they look like when implemented? Investigating the real life business cases and implementations is the best way of discovering just what our solutions offer in terms of improving efficiency and maximising safety. If you’re curious, explore our case study.
See What Real Waste Management Looks Like
We helped the UK’s leading commercial auction house network to improve their waste management strategy through the implementation of waste management machinery. To see what they needed, what we provided and what was gained from it, just click the link below for the case study.