While some may think of commercial waste streams as nothing more than trash in various formats, in reality they represent more than this. While they do include several types of waste, these streams also offer vital data points that can provide you insights in areas ranging from regulatory and operational to sustainability and overall finances.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to offer several areas of assistance when it comes to waste management services, whether you’re looking to keep better records, meet compliance regulations more accurately, understand land disposal restrictions or a variety of other related needs. What are some of the primary areas that drive data collection within waste streams, and which important elements of your business can be affected by these data points? Let’s take a look.
Drivers and Common Waste Categories
There are several specific drivers of the kinds of categories you should be considering within waste data collection. Several of these relate to regulatory requirements, which come from a variety of government organizations depending on your specific waste types. In addition, transparency in waste reporting is vital for everyone from investors and customers to ratings agencies and other organizations.
With this in mind, a few of the most important waste-related categories you should be tracking include:
- Weight of waste deposits
- Number of hauls required
- Whether waste is hazardous or non-hazardous
- Revenue generated vs costs incurred
- Disposition method for waste (recycling, reusing, incineration, landfill, other)
Areas of Waste Data Use
So once you have the information above and are continuously tracking it, where can it be put to use? There are several specific answers here that will help you understand just how valuable this data can be:
- Financial decisions: Once you understand the important data points related to waste, you can apply them to vital budgeting, auditing and forecasting areas within your overall business. For many businesses, waste disposal is a huge budgetary area.
- Regulatory: Waste data is very important for certain permits and other regulatory reporting, which can create several issues if not done correctly.
- Sustainability: You can also use the data you’ve collected to set sustainability goals for reduction of waste in certain areas. When you meet these goals, this is great information to share with customers and investors alike.
- Operational areas: All data is good data when it comes to understanding the areas where you could stand to tighten up a bit operationally. This information will help show you the most effective waste tools in your business and the least effective ones.
- Tracking: Not only can you track your waste trends against previous months and years, you can also match them up against your industry as a whole and see how you stack up against the competition.
For more on the drivers of waste data collection and the areas where this is applied, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste disposal and transportation services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.
At Enviro Care, we’re dedicated completely to safety and careful procedures during our chemical waste disposal and hazardous waste transportation services. We have all the proper permits and licensing to handle these issues for you, with experienced and professional waste managers.
One chemical waste area that we regularly perform services in involves a release of calcium hydride. This chemical, which can affect humans through breathing, has to be removed professionally and with the proper transportation practices in place. Let’s go over some of the effects calcium hydride can have if left unattended, plus a basic example of a recent job we did (names removed for confidentiality) that will help illustrate our safety precautions.
Effects of Calcium Hydride
Calcium hydride is a chemical known for the harmful effects it has on humans, both in the short and long term. In an immediate sense, breathing in calcium hydride can lead to burning of the skin and eyes, eye damage, nose or throat irritation, and lung issues ranging from shortness of breath all the way to a pulmonary edema (a major medical emergency).
In the long run, the effects of regular calcium hydride exposure are even more significant. It can lead to issues with reproduction and the lungs, and may be related to some forms of cancer. Perhaps most concerningly, it’s extremely flammable and can react with other chemicals easily, making it an explosion hazard when it’s released.
The following describes a basic recent process that we followed when assisting with a calcium hydride release:
- Our ER manager took the call from our 24-hour answering service, then took down all relevant information.
- The ER manager dispatched the 24-hour response team, which met at our shop to pre-load equipment and supplies and get an ETA to the location of the release.
- Once arriving on site, our crew members took control of the incident. We walked around the area and discussed the hazards. A JSA was then signed.
- Photos of the area are taken while crew members got dressed. Other crew members offloaded tools and supplies, and set up anything that required it.
- After properly dressing down safely, crew members placed absorbent pads into the release area, then vacuumed up calcium dust in the area. Once this was done, the bag from the HEPA vac was placed into the 201H2. We then sprayed the area down using a Hudson sprayer and a basic green solution, then absorbent was applied after reactions were finished before being placed into the 201H2.
- The crew packed up all supplies and tools and returned them to the van.
- The crew departs the location and informs the ER manager that the project is complete, before returning to the shop to offload the waste and complete paperwork.
For more on calcium hydride safety, or to learn about any of our emergency hazmat response services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.
From July 1st, 2018 to August 17th, 2018, individuals who donated were able to vote on Ron’s upcoming new haircut style. Participants were able to select haircuts like The Missionary, corn rows, The Smurf (blue hair and blue beard), a mullet, an intricate lizard style, a classic and The Skullet, a hybrid of sorts. Voters were also provided an option to allow Ron to keep his current hairstyle.
Voting was heated and close, eventually coming down to a final-day battle between the Classic, Mullet, and Skullet. Before the stroke of midnight, a voter made a final donation,pushing The Skullet over the top to become the champion.
Ron Henderson followed through with his commitment on August 20th, 2018. Dami Hubbs, a cosmetology student at Taylor Andrews, had the privilege of creating Ron’s Skullet haircut. Ron will continue to graciously meet with clients over the next two weeks before he can cut the remaining portion of his hair, as per the rules of the contest. Follow Dami Hubbs @dos_by_dami on Instagram.
This contest was held to raise funds for Kids on the Move in Utah. Kids on the Move is an organization providing services throughout Utah to support families with young children with special needs. To learn more about Kids on the Move, click here:https://kotm.org/
Enviro Care raised $1,416 through thecontest. Participants who donated above certain thresholds will receive a limited-edition t-shirt. All proceeds from the event benefited Kids on the Move.
Enviro Care is excited to continue to reach out to its community. Check the website often or join our mailing list to learn about upcoming events.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud of the numerous areas where our tank cleaning services can be beneficial to clients. And while many associate these services only with areas like hazmat cleanup or chemical waste disposal, there’s another important area we service here: Cleaning tanks to help them obtain kosher status, allowing them to store and transport kosher foods and materials.
The term “kosher” comes from ancient Jewish laws called kashrut, which dealt with the proper preparation and consumption of foods. Different people or groups may practice kosher laws in varying ways in today’s modern age, and the full list of guidelines is very extensive, but there are several basic rules that define some of the simpler areas. Let’s go over these basic rules, what kosher “status” means, and an example of how we go about cleaning tanks to ensure they’re permitted to store kosher food.
General Kosher Rules
Some of the simpler rules of kashrut include:
- Forbidden animals: All parts of certain animals, including, flesh, organs, eggs and even milk, cannot be eaten or drunk at all. Pigs are one animal that fall under this category.
- Permitted animals: Birds and mammals eaten must be killed in accordance with Jewish law, and all blood must be drained or broiled from meat and poultry before consumption. In addition, certain parts of these animals may not be eaten.
- Meat cannot be eaten or prepared with dairy. Generally, things like fruit, eggs, fish and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy, though some people do not eat fish with meat.
- Any utensils that contact meat – or items used to cook meat – may not be used with dairy, and vice versa.
- Utensils that have touched non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food in cases where the food was hot.
- Fruits and vegetables are allowed as long as they’ve been inspected for bugs first.
- Grape products made by Jews are allowed, but grape products made by non-Jews are not.
As we noted above, kashrut extends beyond just the foods themselves and into areas like utensils and preparation. Any utensil or area where food is cooked in or eaten off of retains the status of that food – if you use a certain pan to cook meat, for instance, you cannot turn around and heat up warm milk in that same pan.
This theme extends to storage areas and surfaces, as well. In fact, for a particular area or room to become truly kosher, a Jewish rabbi must be present to oversee the cleaning processes that take place.
Recently, Enviro Care had a project where two storage tanks needed to be cleaned so they could store kosher materials. Under the guidance of a Jewish rabbi contracted by a company that specializes in Kosher certification, these are the steps we took:
- Standard clean: For both our large tanks, we removed all liquids and debris, plus any rust or corrosion stuck to walls.
- Thorough interior cleaning: Using a specific cleaner.
- High-temperature rinse: We used water over 195 degrees Fahrenheit to rinse the inside of the tank.
- Sanitizer: We applied sanitizer diligently to the entire tank.
For more on the kosher tank cleaning process, or to learn about any of our other services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.
If you’re a business with significant amounts of waste to regularly dispose of and transport, it’s important to have an actionable plan for how these processes are carried out. Badly planned waste management can be one of the most costly mistakes a business can make, and you want to avoid the issues it might create for you.
At Enviro Care, we’re here to help. Our hazardous waste transportation and disposal services help many businesses with all their waste needs, ensuring you’re free to focus on the other vital elements of your business. Here are the basic steps we recommend following when creating a new plan for waste management.
Identify Accountable Parties
Before you get started putting anything on paper or changing any processes, you have to identify the people or teams who will be responsible for managing waste management areas and plans. If you’re a particularly large business, this should be done on a committee basis in most cases.
Generally, you’re looking to prioritize senior employees for these roles. If possible, look for those who have an interest in the environment and are experienced with waste services in the past. With these kinds of people spearheading your efforts, you won’t veer off course.
Review Current Practices
As you go about creating a new plan for waste management, it’s valuable to compare things to your previous practices. Review your current waste expenditures and determine the types of waste your business creates, or if you think it’s necessary, consider a professional waste audit or compliance consulting.
Once you have your baseline costs, the creating a new plan will be far simpler. This will allow you to identify any inefficiencies in your logistical processes, plus areas where you can be more efficient.
Set Realistic Goals
As you’re moving forward and determining which major elements of your plan need to change from previous iterations, it’s time to set your goals. In general, waste management plans have three broad goals:
Increase recycling processes
Decrease waste expenses
Promote sustainability across the company
Within each of these broad areas, you’ll want to go about creating smaller goals and actions. It’s important to keep these realistic, including consulting with professionals about proper expectations – too much expected of the waste management team will cause work to be done at a subpar level.
Create a Plan
Now it’s time to put your plan on paper, including everything from the company you’re using for waste management to whether you need to rent any equipment. If you have multiple locations, consider whether consolidating waste might save your business significant amounts. We can help you create a plan that’s customized for your business.
Monitor and Revise the Plan
You should be regularly checking back on your waste management processes, looking for ways to tweak things and make them more efficient. As your business grows, your waste needs will likely change – make sure you’re always up to speed.
For more on creating a great waste management plan for your business, or to learn about any of our environmental services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.
At Enviro Care, our industrial waste disposal and management services are second to none. Whether you’re a small individual business or a giant network with hundreds of employees, we can help with everything from basic disposal to recycling, compliance and environmental awareness.
One particular area we can help work with you on regardless of your business type or size is reducing your overall waste. Different businesses have various kinds of waste that might cause significant costs, but proper reduction methods can lower these costs while also making your company more sustainable. Here are some basic tips.
Did you realize that across the country, Americans generate over 250 million tons of waste per year? Much of that ends up in landfills, and there are large sections of these reserved for waste from various workplaces.
To figure out how you can become more sustainable and reduce your waste, you have to first do a basic analysis of your current waste processes. Some questions to ask yourself and your employees:
- What are the largest sources of company waste?
- Which waste or recycling areas are causing the company to lose money?
- How full are compactors, dumpsters, recycling containers and other receptacles when it comes to pick-up time?
- Do you have proper recycling containers? Are they visible and accessible?
From these basic kinds of questions, you can determine the areas where you need to make some adjustments. Our next few sections will deal with some of the more common waste areas.
Particularly for large offices that still primarily use paper for big parts of the business, office waste can be a major concern. But there are solutions available here, several little hacks to reduce this kind of waste:
- Use email and other digital, paperless forms of communication for memos, reminders and any other simple areas where this conversion is possible.
- Go economical – use double-sided copying whenever you can, and print fewer copies of a given document to circulate around the office instead of printing one for every employee.
- Invest in high-performance copiers, computers, printers and other paper-related equipment. Also have this equipment maintained regularly.
Packaging doesn’t have to be complex, but some businesses make it that way. If you regularly send packages as part of your business, think about how you can minimize your materials and weight – you don’t necessarily need cardboard dividers, bubble wrap and pallets in every single package, for instance. Try to reduce the number of single-use containers you use, and encourage your vendors to ship products in similarly minimalistic or returnable packages.
Particularly prevalent in restaurants and other similar establishments, food waste can also extend to things like paper or Styrofoam utensils. We encourage companies with significant extra food amounts to donate them or compost them – not only will this benefit others or the environment, it will save you the significant expense of hauling food waste, which is expensive given the weight.
For more on how to reduce your workplace waste, or to learn about any of our waste transportation services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.