WHAT IS WASTE MANAGEMENT?
There is more to waste management than collecting rubbish and dumping it at landfill. Waste Management is a science that addresses the logistics, environmental impacts, social responsibilities and cost of an organisation’s waste disposal methods. Although this is an important step in the process, much more is required. Here is a break down in the Cycle of Waste Management …
Waste Management flows in a cycle; Monitoring, Collection, Transportation, Processing, Disposal / Recycle. Through these steps a company can effectively and responsibly manage waste output and their positive effect they have on the environment.
Identifying the waste management needs, identifying recycling opportunities and ways to minimize waste output, and reviewing how waste minimization is progressing. Through keeping records of the different waste streams, a customer can see the results of their efforts in becoming more environmentally friendly and a more efficient business.
Involves the logistical organization to guarantee that bin containers will not overfill. The correct bin container size and service frequency is a must to prevent overspill or excessive smell. The correct bins for different wastes must be available with visible markings such as stickers and bin colour identification. Wheelie bins can allow customers to move bins from convenient areas to serviceable locations.
Is the organizing of waste transport vehicles with the authorization and ability to transport the specified wastes from a customer’s work residence to landfill or processing plant. Waste must be transported by the vehicle designed for it. For example, general waste requires a vehicle with Compacter walls, to that of a cardboard and paper waste transporting. Customers may require a series of vehicles to meet their waste management needs. Vehicles, Drivers and companies require licenses / permits to operate in certain council areas to transport waste. Safety standards are vital to the transportation of clinical and hazardous waste. Drivers must undergo extensive training for emergency circumstances that may arise at any given time.
Separation of recyclables for treatment, and then after treatment are packaged as raw materials. These raw materials are sent to factories for production. Raw materials made from recyclables are produced and sold as products on the market. Companies can purchase such products to further sustain the environment and natural resources.
Non-recyclable wastes by-pass this step and are delivered straight to landfill. Liquid and hazardous wastes are delivered to treatment plants to become less hazardous to the public and environment.
Disposal / Recycling
Disposal of non recyclable waste into landfill. Landfill sites must be approved by legal authorities. Legal authorities guarantee that specific wastes are buried at the correct depth to avoid hazardous chemicals entering the soil, water tables, water systems, Air and piping system.
EFFICIENT WASTE MANAGEMENT INVOLVES:
Considering the type of waste being disposed of
Customising a waste management solution, taking both the amount & type of waste being disposed of:
Droplets is working hard to change the way you think about waste by:
living and breathing – Recover – Recycle – Reuse
owning and operating Resource Recovery Centres for preparing waste to be recycled
delivering waste to its own Resource Recovery Centres where it is sorted and prepared for further recycling
efficiently managing the waste that is recovered
working with alliance partners to recycle alternative waste streams
adopting green methods of operations in line with the Green house challenges
The Five Step Waste Management Cycle Analysis
First step involves developing a waste management solution that meets the customer’s requirements and continually monitoring the solution over time.
When developing this solution the following aspects should be considered;
- the volume of waste generated
- the equipment required for such volumes
- suitable service schedule
- knowledge of waste streams that are commonly disposed of
- Identify recycling opportunities
THE WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY
An environmentally sustainable waste management programme is based on the waste management hierarchy as shown below. Reducing waste should be the first step in any programme with disposal to landfill only considered as a last option.
CONTENTS OF A RUBBISH BIN
If we take a look at the general contents of a rubbish 240lt bin, take the waste management hierarchy into consideration it is clear that we are able to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill for disposal by almost 87%!!!
RECYCLING CODES AND VARIOUS TYPES OF RECYCLABLE ITEMS
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) E.g. Plastic water and cold drink bottles
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) E.g. Grocery bags, Milk bottles, Household cleaning Containers
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) E.g. Pipes, Rigid packaging like blister packs Tubing Wire insulation
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) E.g. Squeezable bottles, Soft plastics bags i.e. Frozen veggies bags & Shrink wrap
Polypropylene (PP) E.g. Yogurt and margarine containers, Bottle caps, flower pots & buckets
Polystyrene (PS) E.g. Take away cups, Protective packaging around electronic equipment such as TV’s, Fridges etc
Glass Bottles Recycling
Aluminium / Steel- cold drink / Beer cans, Food Cans
Old memos and letters, Computer paper, used photocopy paper, Windowless envelopes, Old books, Pale coloured paper (i.e. invoices), Newspapers, Magazines, Flattened cardboard
Monitors, TV’s, VCR’s, home appliances, cell phones, printers, fax machines etc
Staff must be trained in all aspects of operations:
- Legislative requirements
- Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Risks and the importance of wearing protective clothing
- Emergency procedures and first aid
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (OHS)
It is imperative to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety
Act (Act no 85 of 1993) no matter how big or small the site or business is:
- Identify all health and safety risks on the site
- Describe ways to minimise or prevent these risks from occurring (ie. wear masks and gloves
- Report all incidents to the relevant authorites
- Proved ablution and other staff facilities ( i.e kitchens)
Emergency procedures that deal with all potential risk scenarios must be developed and communicated to staff, such as:
- Identify an assembly point for staff
- Provide staff with a list of emergency numbers
- Identify all possible risks and detail procedures to be followed in the event of such a risk
- Fire fighting equipment must be available on the site and maintained and checked regularly