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reducing waste workplace

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.

Waste Analysis

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.

Office Waste

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 Waste

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.

Food Waste

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.

plastic

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:

Manufacturing Recycling

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.

Better Systems

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.

Community Campaigns

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.

impact big data waste management

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.

Early Stages

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.

Competition

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.

cleaning above ground petroleum tanks

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.

Final Result

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.

commercial compactor waste removal

Within the modern world of hazardous waste disposal and transportation, saving costs and following environmentally-friendly procedures are two top priorities. When opportunities arise to kill two metaphorical birds with one stone and benefit both these areas at once, project and waste managers generally jump at the chance.

At Enviro Care, we’re here to tell you about one item that might help you significantly lower both your carbon footprint and your waste budget in one fell swoop: A commercial compactor. A device that can significantly reduce the amount of waste you deal with in green, sustainable ways, a compactor can help with everything from waste deduction to checking container fullness for maximization purposes. Let’s go over the basics you need to know about these commercial compactors, and how they supplement our hazardous waste collection and disposal services.

Compactor Basics

A commercial compactor is a relatively simple piece of equipment that can be found in more and more industrial spaces these days. While their exact rates differ, the average compactor can provide you with a three-to-one compaction ratio – this means that the amount of waste that used to make up three separate hauls from our pros can now be fit into a single haul (if the materials are the same, of course).

That isn’t the only benefit of these compactors, either. Many modern versions are outfitted with monitors that connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing you to regularly check in on the fullness of the compactor to ensure you’re fitting as much waste as possible in. This kind of data helps you eliminate wasted space that costs you money and does no good for the environment.

Types of Compactors

There are two primary types of commercial compactor: Self-contained and stationary. Both are available in a wide range of sizes and both perform similar duties, but the primary differences are found in the kinds of waste they take in and the parts of the box that are or aren’t hauled away at pickup time. Some basics on self-contained compactors:

  • Available for both wet and dry waste
  • Haul the entire compactor unit to the landfill
  • Retains liquids, controls odor and saves storage space, all while discouraging theft and reducing cost
  • Commonly used outside restaurants, hotels, hospitals, grocery stores, malls and more

And some simple facts on stationary compactors:

  • Only available for dry waste
  • The receiver box is disconnected and hauled to the waste facility while the rest remains
  • Can handle tough-to-compact materials, plus comes with limited carbon footprint and saves space while reducing costs
  • Commonly found outside retail stores, manufacturing buildings, distribution centers and other industrial areas.

To choose the right compactor for you, analyze your waste stream and finances based on the basics above.

For more on commercial compactors, or to learn about any of our hazmat collection or transportation services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.

preventing responding hazardous oil spills

For many within the EH&S field, oil spills are a significant concern that have to be accounted for. Not only should numerous practices be put into play to prevent such hazardous instances, plans should be in place for response and remediation if such an event does occur.

At Enviro Care, we provide a variety of hazardous waste collection and transportation services, including emergency response services for water-involved petroleum spills and other potential oil concerns. We have a huge stock of equipment and facilities available, and are qualified to act as Incident Commander for large cleanup projects. In addition to these services, we can also provide expertise on preventing and responding to oil spill concerns – here are some basics:

Understand Regulations

For starters, it’s vital to know all of the regulations on storage, transportation and other oil-related areas. Bodies such as the EPA, DOT and even OSHA all promote such regulations, which may change over time and must be accounted for on a present basis.

These regulations are important for twofold reasons: To limit the risk of oil spills and hazardous risks, but also to keep businesses in compliance. Ensure all equipment and containers are updated as needed, and that employees are taking all the proper precautions.

Training and Employee Resources

Speaking of employees, they should be diligently and specifically trained on all regulations and safety procedures for oil transportation. Not only should this training take place for every new hire, it should be updated regularly based on any changes in regulatory requirements.

One strong tactic many of the best businesses use here: Sending emails or other company-wide memos to all employees anytime regulations are changed or new information comes out about them. Keeping everyone who may handle oil transportation up-to-date on all important areas is vital for preventing spills.

Facility Response and Remediation Plans

No matter your level of preparedness and precautions taken for avoiding spills, multiple plans must be in place in case of such a spill:

  • A facility response plan that complies with all EPA regulations. This plan should be reviewed with all employees regularly, and placed in prominent locations.
  • A post-emergency remedial plan meant for recovery after the spill has occurred. This should include proactive measures and ensure employees are prepared to safely assist with remediation.

On-Site Responsibilities

All operators or staff who will be present at a given oil-related job site must be qualified to perform each of the following duties in the case of a spill:

  • Determine the precise source of the spill.
  • Assess when the spill first broke loose and the rough amount that has leaked.
  • Recognize safety hazards caused by the spill.
  • Start the spill containment process.
  • Report the spill based on local, federal and state guidelines.

To learn more about preventing and responding to oil spills, or for information on any of our environmental services or waste management, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.