There are a surprising number of companies that create some kind of hazardous waste during their everyday manufacturing processes. Making a small change to how this waste is handled and disposed of can have rippling effects, not just for that business and its bottom line, but also for the environment. Luckily, there are a number of creative ways that companies can cut down on pollution, while also saving money.
In short, it simply requires a little bit of pragmatic and creative management of resources. One of the best basic strategies is to cut back on waste in your inventory. More than a third of all hazardous materials in the country that have to be disposed of are unused and even unopened inventory. Getting and staying on top of ordering, usage, and storage ensures less of your raw materials go to waste.
Cutting down on hazardous waste production has a number of benefits for the environment. Not only is there less of a chance of direct pollution from the materials themselves, there is also less pollution because there are fewer items that require out of state shipping, which, in turn, reduces carbon emissions and fuel usage.
Other unique solutions include taking a look at your cleaning schedule. Many companies have a cleaning routine that requires both the cleaning solution and any products of cleaning to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Some of these companies clean on a schedule, rather than when machinery or spaces actually need to be cleaned, greatly increasing the amount of hazardous waste produced.
Businesses should look for opportunities for inventory that could be labeled as hazardous waste to be reused or sold off to a company that could use it for something else. For example, if a manufacturer uses methanol to clean their machinery, excess and leftover methanol could be sold to a company that makes windshield washer fluid (of which methanol is a main ingredient). This means more profit for the company and less hazardous waste that they have to deal with.
Each company will need to find its own unique solutions to this issue, but they are out there. Look for opportunities to reduce the production of waste and to even profit off of any potential waste.