Waste is not what it used to be. It used to be there was a lot of focus on production-related activities and very little focus on what was leftover when you were done making your products. Now, proactive companies realize that waste management is should not be overlooked. Mismanaging waste is lost profit. The amount and types of waste you generate might make doing business with your business unappealing to environmentally conscious companies. 

Our W.A.S.T.E.D. program at Certified Environmental Solutions is a free service we provide to our clients and prospective clients to help minimize your environmental liabilities and costs. Our W.A.S.T.E.D. program systematically and comprehensively reviews your business’s waste management practices to help ensure you are making the most of the “wastes” your production-related activities generate. Here’s how the program works and the different factors we review.

W. stands for Waste Management. Too often we find clients that aren’t really managing their wastes effectively. During our site assessments, we still find many companies that are very focused on production and have put very little thought into their waste management program. We often see different waste types being comingled thereby increasing the overall cost of disposal and eliminating the possibility of beneficial reuse or recycling. Other times materials are deemed wastes after light use, thereby unnecessarily increasing the volume of wastes generated and inflating the overall costs of disposal. We will review your entire waste management program and discuss alternative management options to help reduce your costs, minimize the amount of waste your facility generates, and find the most cost-efficient and environmentally beneficial manner of managing what wastes are left after our improvements are implemented. 

A. stands for Alternative Use. Just because a material no longer meets the specifications your production-related activities require doesn’t mean it might not meet the specifications of someone else’s production needs. Solvents are a great example of this. Some production activities require extremely pure solvent to work. After the solvents are lightly used, they are deemed a waste. The saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Lightly used solvents, and other chemicals can still be used as a product if another business can use them in their processes that might not require as tight of specifications as yours do. Your wastes might not need to be wastes at all. There is an entire industry based around selling unwanted or lightly used chemicals and managing them as products, not wastes. Our team can help you determine if any of your wastes qualify for a program like this.

S. stands for Sustainable Solutions. Sometimes a waste is a waste. But just because a material can no longer be used in production doesn’t mean the method of disposal isn’t important. Healthcare-related wastes are a great example of this. Traditionally healthcare wastes are either sent for incineration which is thermal destruction for the sole benefit of destruction. Or healthcare wastes were sent for autoclave or microwave treatment which sterilizes the wastes prior to them being landfilled. There is relatively new technology that exists that can actually recycle all kinds of healthcare wastes and keep this material from being wasted. Healthcare wastes can be turned into an alternative fuel thereby reducing the need for consuming fossil fuels in certain applications. There are many sustainable solutions for a wide variety of waste types. Our team will review the different waste types your facilities generates and provide you with options to determine what waste treatment methodology makes the most sense for you. We customize all of our client’s waste management programs based on their individual goals and needs.

T. stands for Transportation. A major component of any waste management program, and the “cradle to grave” responsibility that goes along with it, is transportation. Transportation can be a major cost component of your overall program. Transportation can also be a potential liability if you aren’t working with a responsive, reliable, safe, and professional partner. We have the ability to pair our sustainable waste management solutions with the best transportation resources around. Our waste management programs are all customized for your unique needs and so are the transportation resources we offer. Does your current vendor have the right vehicles and enough of them to provide you with the most responsive and cost-effective solutions available?

E. stands for Energy Recovery. Many wastes might not be able to be recycled in the traditional sense of the word, but they might still retain some redeeming value in their btu content. Many wastes that cannot be reused or recycled can at least be used as an alternative fuel and prevent the consumption of fossil fuels. Many organic wastes such as coatings, solvents, adhesives, and many other wastes can be thermally destroyed and have their heat value be beneficially used to generate electricity, help create cement, and other applications. Our team strives to make sure wastes that are destined for thermal destruction be used in an environmentally beneficial manner and not just destroyed for the sake of destruction.

D. stands for Digesters. Biodigesters are a sustainable waste management option that many people don’t yet realize their full capabilities. Many digesters can receive waste liquids like fats, oils, and greases. Many food manufacturing wastewaters can participate in a program like this. Other digesters can even receive food-related solids. Foods in consumer packaging can be removed from the packaging and food wastes processed through the digester. All of this prevents these materials from being landfilled. Now the packaging can be recycled, and the food wastes can be converted into a useful commodity. After the digestion process is completed the remaining solids are used as fertilizers in land application programs or incorporated into commercial compost programs. Digester technology continues to advance and many industrial wastes, beyond food manufacturing wastes, now qualify and can be used in digester applications. We have a nationwide network of digesters we partner with helping prevent food wastes and consumer packaging from being wasted.

When we reach out to prospective clients, we are often told: “we already have a program in place.” Well, that makes perfect sense. State and federal regulations require you to have a program in place. The reason we reach out to businesses is to help them determine if they have the best program in place. Does your program reduce your regulatory liability? Does your program manage your wastes in an environmentally beneficial manner? Does the vendor you work with function as your environmental program partner or just some waste hauler? Are you receiving the best value, not just the lowest price, but the best value for what you spend on your waste management program? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, I recommend you invite us into your facility, so we can work with you in helping answer those questions. We look forward to working with you.