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Competing priorities: Don’t kick recycling to the curb during full-tilt production

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Are you feeling the pressure of competing priorities? Follow these simple tips to keep production and recycling in balance.

Competing priorities- recycling in busy times

Sales orders are streaming in. Production is running at full tilt. Revenue is flowing. What’s often missing in this scenario? Waste recycling and the positive impact it has on a company’s bottom line and sustainability.

When the economy booms or seasonal production spikes, companies often shift their priorities and resources to get product out the door and space-taking waste off the manufacturing floor. Waste segregation efforts are reduced or fully scrapped, resulting in either increased landfilled waste or contaminated segregated waste. Either way, waste-management costs rise, and a revenue stream that’s important in less-robust times evaporates.

Perhaps an even bigger hit than the one to the bottom line is to a company’s reputation for sustainable operations. Shareholders and stakeholders alike expect companies to show continuous commitment to not only their economic performance but also their environmental and social performance. Being a fair-weather recycler negatively impacts all three sides of this sustainability triangle.

Are you feeling the pressure of competing priorities? Follow these simple tips to keep production and recycling in balance:

  • Keep it real: You may think recycling requires more time and money. In reality, it probably doesn’t. 
  • Stick to it: You created waste processes and procedures to provide clear direction on how your employees should dispose of waste. Stick to them no matter how busy or slow.
  • Identify a waste guru: Have a designated employee be responsible for segregating waste. The income you receive and costs you avoid often offset the opportunity cost of diverting this human capital.
  • Take five: Every few weeks, set aside a few minutes in pre-shift or daily management meetings to remind employees of their responsibility to recycle waste. Awareness is a key enabler to recycling success.
  • Put a sign on it: Is proper signage still in place to point employees to recycling areas and direct them on what waste goes in which bin? Do a walkabout to check. 
  • Get closer: If space allows, relocate recycling bins closer to the action. Convenience increases compliance.

Still need help finding your production/waste balance sweet spot? Have a no-obligation phone consultation with a Waste Disposal Solutions specialist who can help assess your needs and strengthen your recycling efforts during high-production times. Call WDS at 866-428-5748.