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.
At Enviro Care, our waste management, transportation and disposal services help numerous public safety agencies and other groups operate safely, economically and in compliance with environmental laws. We’re proud to help many large bodies around the state become greener and more conscious of the environment through our various hazardous waste services.
We can’t go it alone, though, and our services are only so helpful if the cities we serve are mindful of various waste areas and proactive about how to handle them. One particular area here is plastic waste, which is a massive concern for many cities – according to the Ellen & MacArthur Foundation, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by the year 2050 if more is not done to curb this issue. With this in mind, here are five strategies cities can employ to get a better handle on plastic waste:
Plastic waste can be recycled, and these processes are being infused into manufacturing areas across the country. Recycled plastic can be used for everything from cement filler to household goods, and it can even be used by large-scale clothing and furniture manufacturers. These kinds of programs also incentivize the overall population to collect plastic and recycle it.
Following the lead of several other countries, the US is slowly moving toward more sustainable and efficient waste disposal infrastructure systems. Within cities, practices like splitting up areas by zone to make good use of shared resources are becoming more prevalent. This general overall infrastructure is the backbone of these efforts, so if things are modernized and streamlined here, more detailed areas will likely follow.
In many cases, the initiative that moves a given city toward better plastic waste management comes from the household and individual levels. Environmental groups and advocates are vital for spreading basic information and motivation to citizens, who may not fully understand the effect these areas have on them. Communities and schools create projects to collect plastic bottles and other plastic items, then selling them to a recycler to raise funds for similar environmental efforts – a double-whammy that both cuts down on litter and raises money for a good cause.
Planning and Policy Concerns
From a policy perspective, plastic waste management can be done in waves. After much of the above has been completed and better infrastructure is in place for collection and disposal of these wastes, cities can move to more focused areas like banning certain plastic types and creating incentives to comply with these bans. It’s important that these policies are only enacted once a strong baseline has been established from an infrastructure standpoint – failure here can lead to additional littering when the proper disposal systems aren’t available to citizens.
For more on how cities can help curb plastic waste, or to learn about any of our waste collection or disposal services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.
As technology and its impact on storage have grown exponentially in recent decades, numerous sectors have infused Big Data into their practices. Big Data, which refers to gathering and storing huge amounts of information for various areas of business analysis, has been a huge piece of sectors like banking, healthcare, education and many others for years – and over more recent periods, has begun to make a big impact on waste management and waste transport services.
At Enviro Care, we’re always looking for ways technology like Big Data can improve our processes and ability to serve you with hazardous waste remediation and transportation. This year we're launching a new platform called Project Insight to help us manage and analyze our data. Let’s take a look at the role Big Data has begun to play in this industry, and how it helps benefit our clients.
It’s important to remember that the last few years have marked some of the early stages of Big Data making its way into the waste and recycling industries. It first cropped up as a great way for companies like ours to optimize our routes and pickup times based on data collection, which both lowers emissions from our trucks and also benefits our clients in terms of convenience.
In addition, there are possibilities for Big Data to infuse into several other areas here – and some of these are already happening. Companies like ours are beginning to use large pockets of data for resource planning, capital expenses, or improving recycling rates. The near future is very bright here, and has already begun to happen in many cases.
The Four Vs
It’s important for those in the waste and recycling industries to understand what are known as the “four Vs” of Big Data:
- Volume: How much data you have from the various sources available to you. The more data you have, the better insights you can gain from it.
- Variety: You want as many varied demographics and customers as possible, as this will allow you to view a wide array of needs and desires.
- Velocity: The speed at which you acquire data – the faster the better, as you can create reports that are more accurate and come quicker.
- Veracity: This refers to the quality and dependability of different sources of data, as well as the frequency at which you collect from a given source.
Waste and recycling are already competitive industries, and Project Insight will only improve this in healthy, organic ways. It has already made the margin for error thinner – companies not operating efficiently just won’t be able to keep up. For the future, though, there is great potential for Big Data to limit liabilities and create additional assets in the industry.
Internet of Things
Another big area to consider here is the Internet of Things (IoT), a network of physical objects that are connected to the internet via electronics, software and sensors. IoT is making a big early impact on waste and recycling, helping with various instruments and optimization areas.
For more on how Big Data through Project Insight is making an impact on the waste and recycling sectors, or to learn about any of our hazmat cleanup or environmental services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.
Across numerous industrial fields, the need for specialized cleaning services has never been higher. No matter your industry, proper tank cleaning – especially for above-ground tanks – can play a huge role in your efficiency and sustainability.
At Enviro Care, we’re here to provide tank cleaning solutions for all industrial needs, including for above-ground storage tanks for petroleum and other substances. How might our team go about assessing and completing a large-scale petroleum tank cleanup? Here are some of the basic steps we’d observe.
Job Walk and Assessment
Before we get started on any major work or setup, we will conduct a job walk across the site. During this assessment, we’ll look at potential safety hazards like power lines, standing water, soft earth due to precipitation, and others. We’ll also gauge the ease of entry into the tank, plus identify the number and size of manways present.
Equipment and Setup
On the first day of the project, our crew members will begin transporting the proper equipment to the job site. Our project manager and site supervisor will meet with you or other company reps to go over the requirements of the job, noting any major changes since the initial assessment.
If there are no significant changes here, the site supervisor will ensure all work permits have been obtained. From here, they will conduct a pre-job safety meeting and go over the scope of the job with the entire crew. And finally, equipment will begin to be positioned in the proper areas.
Entry and Early Goals
Once equipment is in place, crew members will make their initial entry and begin to remove all the sludge and product they can from the bottom of the tank. They utilize rubber squeegees, which help push product to a designated collection point that’s decided on ahead of time.
Why rubber squeegees, you ask? Well, because they are gentle and don’t risk scratching or otherwise damaging tank coatings. From here, all product will be vacuumed into a liquid ring truck, then transferred into a designated storage tank using either a vacuum or a transfer pump.
Wash and Residue Removal
Once the product has been removed fully from the tank, it’s time to prepare the floor for steam wash. The crew will use diesel to break up any oil residue still left over – this diesel will be left overnight if time permits.
In addition, crew members have to clean any harder oil substances from the interior tank shell. They usually use steel scrapers here, but only on sections not coated with epoxy. Finally, a steam washer will be used to power-wash the tank floor.
When the job is done properly, all white epoxy coatings inside your tank will be a clean, glossy white that can be shown in light easily. We won’t leave the job site until this is accomplished.
For more on the process of cleaning an above-ground petroleum tank, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste removal or transportation services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.