Facility Dude

Make sure your facility’s waste management strategy is in the bag

By Kate Donnelly
Jul 24, 2015

Facilities Management

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Commercial and industrial facilities are busy, complicated places. They're staffed by employees all working to ensure that their companies are able to produce as much as they need to to maximize revenue.

Make sure your facility's waste management strategy is in the bag But not everything that a facility produces can be a useful product. In fact, many facilities generate a substantial amount of waste of various kinds. As the facility manager, one of your jobs is to establish a waste management solution that balances all the needs of your facility. It's important to devise a system that is effective, economical and sustainable all in one. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Encourage recycling

Kids are taught to reduce, reuse and recycle from a young age. This is a lesson that you should carry with you to work every day as well. Every waste management strategy should incorporate an effective means of recycling certain materials, and should encourage recycling among the building's tenants.

This is an important environmental step to take, but it also should be motivated by financial considerations. Waste costs. Garbage needs to be removed, and most facilities turn to private companies to contract their waste disposal. This means that the more waste your facility is producing, the more you'll end up paying to have it carted off later. In contrast, many municipalities offer public recycling programs that can remove recyclable waste from your premises for very little cost.

Quiz your subcontractors

It's not uncommon for facility managers to turn to third-party companies when major repair, replacement or installation work needs to be done. Deciding which contractor to use for such a project out of a seemingly endless sea of options can itself seem like an overwhelming task. But amidst relevant criteria such as cost and experience, ensure you take waste management into account. Don't be afraid to ask a contracting company about its policy regarding waste disposal. Oftentimes construction-related waste can be excessively heavy, or can require sorting or other special processes to effectively remove.

Other types of waste

Aside from physical waste such as garbage and recycling, you should also pay attention to other types of waste produced by your facility. Specifically, excess energy and water can increase your building's carbon footprint, reduce operational efficiency and cost you money in the long run.

Fortunately, managing electricity and water waste can be simple if you have the tools and if you get your tenants on board. Using a CMMS it's possible to track energy and water usage by sector of your building, helping you identify regions that may be using more resources than they need. This information can be useful when directing your repair efforts, as it enables you to single out where you should concentrate your building maintenance.

You can also make waste management a facility-wide affair. Circulate information throughout the building highlighting the importance of energy and water conservation, encouraging people to turn off lights when they leave rooms and make sure faucets and sinks are off. You can also implement a facility-wide recycling program from the ground up, encouraging your tenants to separate garbage from recycling, and providing the necessary receptacles for them to do so.

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