Commercial Waste Management faces unique challenges in mixed-use developments.
The first challenge is the physical management of the waste streams, on-site storage receptacles, on-site treatment equipment and waste removal. Thereafter, there are challenges around the curation and collation of mandatory documentation and elective information to drive positive commercial waste management behaviours, notably in contamination reduction, the single biggest barrier to successful waste stream management. NJC has devised a range of solutions to help property owners and operators meet their legislative responsibilities, whilst maximising recycling and minimising waste transfer costs.
With the environmental impact of our use and disposal of resources glaringly apparent, NJC passionately believes that we urgently need to start moving to a circular economy, where we keep resources in use as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them, and then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of their service life. Every facility should have a waste management strategy to maximise sustainability and corporate social responsibility, and the increasing legislative burden on waste treatment costs adds a compelling commercial reason. The ultimate waste strategy is not to need the resource, but this is clearly a long term goal and every organisation should have a commercial waste management approach based on the waste hierarchy.
At NJC we take a pragmatic approach to managing the administrative and practical aspects of commercial waste management and reporting. Our approach seeks to accommodate the physical limitations of the facilities, particularly around available storage, which has a direct impact on collection frequencies and thereafter costs. It also accounts for specific customer sustainability strategies, plans and objectives.
Typical commercial waste management objectives may include:
- Waste audit led strategy
- Zero waste to landfill or incineration
- General waste control and reduction (general waste down, dry mixed recyclables up)
- Cardboard and paper reclamation (commodity income)
- Maximisation of dry mixed recyclables and/or discrete waste streams, such as glass and paper
- Minimisation of transport costs and disturbance
- Communication and education of the occupier
- Measurement of the waste stream volume as close to source as possible
- Detailed reporting for governance and behavioural education
This approach is driven by general waste being the most expensive waste stream to process and conversion to dry mixed recyclables offering substantial cost reductions. Further segregation into waste streams offers the opportunities to create commodities where income is generated. Cardboard and paper are the most common, but recent media focus on plastics has increased the profile and fostered a more rapid maturing of research and development of sustainable treatment.