In today’s industrial landscape, efficient waste management is not just a responsibility but also a necessity. To do this effectively, correctly managing all waste streams is key. Businesses across various sectors must properly manage diverse waste streams to minimise their environmental impact create a circular economy. Let’s delve into the management of wood, metal, WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), and less common waste streams, shedding light on the best practices for disposal, recycling and creating sustainable solutions.
Understanding Wood Waste
Wood waste is a common byproduct of all manufacturing industries. Wooden waste typically comprises of items such as broken pallets and unwanted wooden furniture. While wood waste is quite niche, improper management can cause adverse effects for the businesses and the environment.
Wood, if not managed correctly, takes up a lot of space on manufacturing sites which reduces storage capacity for larger waste streams such as plastics and cardboard. Wood can also be an issue if not placed in the correct bin and can severely disrupt the manufacturing process if it gets caught in the process.
When disposed of in landfill, wood waste can release potent greenhouse gases such as Methane, which contribute significantly to climate change. Each tonne of wood in landfill creates the equivalent of 800kg of CO2 in methane emissions.
How can we dispose of wood?
Despite being less common, wood recycling is a viable solution for dealing with wood waste. Here are some of the ways wood products can be repurposed:
• New building materials
• Pellets for biomass energy production
• Panel board
• Horse/poultry bedding
Metal Waste Management
Metal waste can occur throughout the whole manufacturing processes. Metals from steel and aluminium cans, ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals, kitchen appliances and cutlery. This type of waste poses challenges due to its weight, size, and potential for contamination. There are many consequences to improper management of metal waste:
- Firstly, there are many negative environmental impacts which stem from failure to dispose of metal correctly. When metal waste ends up in landfill, it could leach into the environment and pollute the ground and waterways and even end up entering the food chain through damaged ecosystems.
- Metals can also pose health and safety risks when not disposed of correctly. Metal waste can be sharp and pose physical hazards to workers on-site.
- Failure to recycle metal is also a huge, missed opportunity financially for businesses. Metal recycling offers some of the highest returns so missing out on this valuable recycling opportunity means you can’t reap the benefits of contributing to sustainability goals and reducing waste management costs.
How can we dispose of metal waste correctly?
Fortunately, metals are some of the most recyclable materials on earth due to them being infinitely recyclable. Here are some of the ways metals can be recycled and repurposed:
• Packaging Materials (New steel and aluminium cans)
• Wiring and Electrical Components
• Construction Materials
Understanding How to Manage WEEE
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) encompasses discarded electronic devices, from smartphones to large appliances. The proliferation of electronic devices has led to a surge in WEEE waste, posing unique challenges.
WEEE waste can contain hazardous materials which can cause harm to the environment and human health when disposed of incorrectly.
Sustainable approaches to disposing of WEEE
WEEE, despite its numerous different components and materials, is very recyclable and has lots of value in the recycling industry. By segregating WEEE from other waste streams, we can ensure they’re disposed of correctly and the value of the materials maximised. Here are some of the things we can do by recycling WEEE:
• Recover valuable materials such as gold
• Salvage reusable components for future products
• Ensure hazardous items such as batteries don’t go to landfill
The Importance of Effective Management of Uncommon Waste
Effective waste management of uncommon waste streams is vital. It helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserves resources, and helps to prevent ground and water pollution. It also significantly contributes to the circular economy by reusing and recycling materials, decreasing the demand for new resources.
Compliance with waste management regulations is not optional. All businesses must adhere to local and national laws to avoid fines and reputational damage. By partnering with experienced waste management businesses, we can help ensure compliance while optimising sustainability.
Effective waste management is an essential aspect of sustainable business operations. Total waste management experts, such as Mobius, specialise in handling less common waste streams. We develop bespoke solutions for effective disposal, recycling, or treatment of these materials. Our expertise ensures compliance with regulations and minimise environmental harm, whilst ensuring businesses maximise the value of their waste materials.
If you are interested in partnering with Mobius and learning more about how we can manage your waste, please fill in the contact form below: