If you’re the owner or manager of a business that regularly ships waste streams and various hazardous materials out as part of regular operations, it’s important not to get too complacent within this process. It’s always good to establish routines and best practices for hazardous waste collection and disposal, of course, but it’s vital to remember that your needs here may change over time and you need to keep an eye on these developments.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to offer a variety of hazardous waste collection, transportation and disposal services for a variety of potential business needs. We’ll help you remain in compliance with all environmental regulations while streamlining your waste disposal needs in simple, affordable ways. Let’s go over some important themes involved in assessing your waste processes for regular changes, plus performing a waste profile review that hits on several important related areas.
Regular Changes to Waste Streams
In many business types, such as labs or industrial process facilities, waste streams become extremely routine over time. This is understandable, as the goal of many such facilities in this area is to keep things relatively uniform and perfect the process to keep efficiency high.
However, such businesses also change their processes often. They may add or eliminate various chemicals to create new products or outcomes, and while these changes won’t always impact the manufacturing line waste comes from, it often impacts the waste composition in major ways. It’s important to consider not only the amounts and streams for your waste, but also the types of waste involved and how this changes your overall profile, compliance and transportation needs.
Waste Profile Review
One great way to stay up-to-date here is by holding a waste profile review, perhaps annually or maybe even more often if you feel it’s appropriate. In many states, in fact, you are required to submit documentation on waste generation and composition at least once a year, and even if not, this is a good habit to get into.
Keep all your hard-copy profile forms and any analytics you have on your waste streams. These act as records of your waste activity, which you can reference as needed.
Important Themes to Address During Review
Some important questions or themes to consider during your waste profile review:
- Is the process currently active and operating?
- Which new chemicals or constituents have been added, removed or replaced since the last review?
- How has the overall generation process changed since the last review?
- Do you need to add or remove any RCRA codes?
- Has any of the above changed your shipping needs?
- Should the profile be inactivated, recreated or otherwise changed moving forward?
For more on waste review profiles and managing your waste streams, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste transportation services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.
Previously in this space, we’ve discussed the massive impact of increasing data storage on several areas of waste management and transportation. Where waste disposal in previous generations may have been far less organized, today it can provide all sorts of important data that connects vital sectors of your business and helps you compare yourself to the competition and find internal improvement areas.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to be launching our own program known as Project Insight to help capture this sort of data for all our waste disposal programs. Our data includes a wide variety of potentially important categories, from weight and haul numbers to disposition methods, revenue versus costs, hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, and other detailed areas. Let’s look at several of the ways you can use this data, areas of your business where it can make a real impact on both growth and internal assessment:
First and foremost, waste data collected over a period of time – the longer the better, of course – can be enormously valuable for various financial areas. It can help with basic budgeting for disposal and transportation, naturally, but also with forecasting future needs and even with auditing when it comes time each year (or quarter). If you have not been tracking this sort of information in the past, you might be shocked at the sizable impact it can have on your budget.
For companies or entities that deal with several waste locations, it’s important to know which are providing the top performance and which are not doing very well. By defining these areas, you can identify the most effective programs you have working for you and apply them in other areas that are not performing optimally. This is the kind of data that often simply can’t be gleaned just by observing processes in a given facility.
When it comes time to apply for various permits or other regulatory needs, our Project Insight data will be a great asset. It will allow you to pull this sort of data quickly and easily rather than searching through files to compile the correct data.
General Tracking and Industry Comparisons
Over time, this data will allow you to track a number of internal trends when it comes to waste. Not only can you compare these to previous years or similar periods for your own company, you also are able to track these trends compared to your competitors in the space to see how you stack up and where you need to further your efforts.
Finally, perhaps our favorite part of Project Insight is how it benefits our clients in sustainability areas. It allows you to set goals for this area and specifically track whether you meet them, plus implement processes to help reach those goals if they aren’t being met. Customers love this area with good reason, and it’s becoming a larger and larger point of emphasis for suppliers.
For more on the specific parts of your waste processes you can learn a lot from using big data insights, or to learn about any of our industrial waste disposal or transportation services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.
Within the world of waste collection, transportation and disposal, compaction is an important area to consider. The ability to turn larger quantities of waste into smaller, more manageable parcels is highly valuable in this field, both for reducing space used and limiting the number of pickups required.
At Enviro Care, we’re happy to provide waste management and disposal services using a variety of disposal sites around Utah. One item that’s helpful in terms of recyclables is known as a baler, a machine that uses a ram to compress recyclable materials into much smaller bales. Here’s everything you need to know about balers, including whether your facility could benefit from installing one.
Baler Basics and Types
Baler machines can handle a wide range of recyclables, from paper and packaging material up to aluminum scrap in many cases. Not only will they limit the number of pickups you require, they’ll also allow you to often sell bales of recyclables and offset your waste disposal costs.
There are two basic types of baler machines:
- Vertical balers: Often smaller than a home refrigerator, but ranging up to larger sizes, vertical balers are generally for smaller loads. They’re often used in manufacturing and retail areas, plus hospitals or other similar sites. They produce small bales that are generally easily handled by workers.
- Horizontal balers: Horizontal balers are larger and generally the item of choice for industrial or manufacturing areas that require large loads. They can even be retrofitted with conveyor belts, custom hoppers and other items that will help with efficiency. The largest horizontal balers can handle up to thousands of pounds per hour.
Factors in Obtaining a Baler
A few factors to consider if you’re deciding whether or not to purchase a baler for your facility include:
- Waste volume: Conduct a waste audit to determine your overall waste stream, including the level of recyclables you’re going through, and whether a baler will benefit you in this area.
- Recyclable types: The types of items you’re regularly recycling will also play a big role in your choice.
- Market and business forecast: In many cases, plant or facility managers purchase balers in anticipation of growing recycling needs. Some choose to first rent a baler for a few months to see how it impacts their waste streams and efficiency, a good middle ground if you aren’t quite sure.
- Maintenance and repair needs: Like other large-scale industrial machines, balers will require basic maintenance and upkeep. Ensure you have staff qualified for this, or if you’re renting, be sure the company provides the machine also handles this area.
- Cost: And of course, you’ll have to assess the financial results of purchasing a baler – will the cost you pay for it be justified within a reasonable period of time, or could you be spending money you won’t recoup?
For more on balers and how they impact waste and recycling streams, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste disposal or waste management services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.
While some may think of commercial waste streams as nothing more than trash of 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 proud to offer trusted industrial waste disposal and transportation as one of our many environmental services. Trusted by public safety agencies and enterprises throughout Utah, we help customize waste management, disposal and recycling solutions to meet the needs of your specific industrial facility and keep you in compliance with all local regulations.
One of the most common questions we get from new or potential clients: What happens to my waste once it’s removed from my facility? Today’s blog will go over several treatment technologies out there that might be utilized depending on the materials being disposed of and the local LDR treatment standard for any chemicals.
When mostly organic materials are those being disposed of, the primary process used tends to be incineration. This is generally done using a high-temperature rotary kiln, which heats up to extreme temperatures to efficiently combust organic materials.
In other cases, incineration may still be used even if there are not organic materials involved. However, this tends to come at an increased cost. There will also be certain circumstances where incineration is not allowed for a given material, such as when RCRA metals are used alongside no organic materials. Our team will inform you of scenarios where incineration won’t be an option if they arise.
For certain solids soaked with (or containing) high quantities of BTU organic solvents, a process called solvent distillation is sometimes used. It involves contaminated solids sent into a very high distillation unit (often multiple stories), where extreme temperatures will be used to evaporate the solvents off the solid.
From here, the solvent vapors can be recondensed and processed as clean fuel formats. This is a method that helps re-use forms of solid waste, and as such it may be considered for state waste minimization tax breaks if used regularly enough.
This is a treatment format usually used for clean fuels, commonly organic solvents with high BTU values. It’s not technically a recycling process, but several states do recognize it as a more environmentally-friendly approach to recycling for fuels. It typically generates products that can fuel items like cement kilns and other industrial applications.
Finally, for heavy metal recycling, metal reclamation is often used to salvage certain recoverable parts. Several part types are often good candidates here, including lead pigs, bricks and various silver fixer formats. SRU columns are also often used for metal reclamation. Mercury is another good example – it will be reclaimed virtually any time it’s being disposed of.
At Enviro Care, we’re proud to serve as your one-stop specialists for all areas of waste management and transport services. Our industrial waste transportation fleet includes numerous trucks, trailers and other pieces of equipment, with licenses to haul virtually any hazardous waste format out there.
Our experts are also here to assist you in understanding all the costs and benefits associated with any area of waste disposal and transportation, including facilities looking to purchase new waste equipment like trash compactors or balers. While the initial cost of these items will be to acquire them, there are a few more ownership areas you should consider when looking at the bottom line and whether this equipment purchase will end up as a net positive for your business.
Waste Cost and Benefit Areas
The primary area most facilities consider here, and with good reason, is the way a new piece of equipment will impact overall waste management expenses. Will a new compactor, for instance, significantly cut down on the number of trips a hauling company needs to make from your facility to the disposal location? You can break this down and determine precisely how many trips – and therefore how much money – you’ll save.
On the flip side, you have to consider potential future costs when it comes to equipment repairs. Many manufacturers of large-scale waste equipment will offer repair warranties, though these will differ depending on whether you’re renting the equipment or own it outright. In cases where you’re in charge of any needed repairs, you need to factor in any additional cost that comes with equipment downtime and hiring a technician for the repairs.
Equipment Life Expectancy
Another vital area for calculating overall costs and potential profitability of any piece of waste management equipment is understanding how long the equipment is expected to last. Balers, compactors and other similar items have several specific moving parts, and while repairs are always possible for minor issues, there comes a point where some of these parts may wear down to extreme levels.
If you’re renting equipment, ask about situations where you can switch out certain pieces based on changing waste needs. If you have this flexibility, it can make a big difference to your bottom line.
Site Prep and Installation
Finally, you have to consider the costs that will come with site preparation and installation for any new equipment. These pieces require electrical power and several other significant bits of planning, including consulting with either in-house or equipment dealer engineers so everything is set up professionally and without any safety hazards. Ensure installation is planned well in advance and you understand the costs it will incur.
For more on assessing the full range of costs and cost benefits associated with waste management equipment, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste collection or disposal services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.