The following are specific good housekeeping and waste minimisation measures that can be taken in each area of business activity.
• Conduct material purchases through a central person or department to make sure that waste reduction purchasing guidelines are followed and to eliminate unnecessary acquisitions.
• Draw up purchase agreements that spell out terms and conditions for receiving supplies. Include provisions that allow the inspection of materials before accepting them. Specify terms of responsibility for each party in case of a material release. Ensure that specified procedures are followed by documenting agreements with suppliers and making sure that shipping personnel have a written copy.
• Assess the materials used and buy those that are the least toxic and least costly to handle.
• Before purchasing new equipment, make sure it can be easily maintained, as preventive maintenance can save three to four times the equipment cost by reducing breakdowns.
• Purchase supplies and packaging with recycled content.
• Work with farmers to grade produce more effectively so that poor-quality produce remains on-farm (this reduces storage and disposal).
• Buy pre-cleaned raw products to reduce cleaning required in-process.
• Work with suppliers to develop innovative options for product delivery.
• Containers: take into account the intended use of various materials and standard operating practices, and buy them in the size and type of container that will minimize material losses and costs. If materials are usually transferred from large to smaller containers before use, purchase smaller containers to reduce potential spillage, material evaporation, contamination from returning unused material to the original container, and expiration of unused materials. Reduce handling losses by purchasing pre-weighed packages. Buy in bulk to reduce the number of containers requiring disposal. Purchase containers that are wider than they are tall so that less material clings to the sides; more material gets used so there is less container residue. Purchase containers that minimise disposal challenges (e.g. substitute single-use aerosol spray cans with fillable pressurised spray cans).
• Integrate materials purchasing, handling, inventory, and sales procedures to facilitate accurate materials accounting.
• Devise real-time materials tracking and monitoring systems that report on waste generation and discrepancies from efficiency standards.
• Minimise inventory by purchasing and storing only what you need as the disposal of excess or out-of-date supplies may outweigh the costs of waiting for resupply shipments.
• Use a 'first in, first out' inventory policy for raw materials, and rotate perishable stock at every delivery.
• Maintain proper temperature, humidity, etc. to reduce material degradation.
• Computerise your tracking system.
• Negotiate with vendors to accept back excess, off-spec, or expired materials.
• Look for substitutes with longer shelf lives.
• Reduce the number of similar types of products.
• Use waste exchanges for overstock or off-spec materials.
• Reduce unnecessary waste generation, spills, and returns, and prevent acceptance of shipments that are improperly packaged, off-spec or incorrect by using the following procedures.
o Receive incoming materials in a designated area and design the area to prevent and control spillage of materials. o Prevent waste disposal, property losses, and injuries by training receiving employees how to properly handle incoming shipments. o Before accepting incoming goods, check for damaged, opened, or leaking containers, test for off-spec materials, and verify expiration dates.
o Choose suppliers that are reliable and have high-quality service. o Ask suppliers to offer products with minimal and reusable packaging.
• Ask customers to receive shipments in a designated area to prevent and control accidental material releases.
• Draw up delivery agreements that require customers to inspect deliveries and document that the materials were received in an acceptable condition.
• Maintain proper temperature and humidity to reduce material degradation.
• Keep storage areas well lit and clean, and allow space to easily access all containers.
• Keep aisles free of obstructions.
• Place new materials behind older stock.
• Use high-quality containers that can be resealed to prevent spills, evaporative losses, and contamination.
• Stack containers in a way that will not allow them to tip, puncture, tear, or break.
• Do not lean or stack equipment against containers.
• Segregate hazardous from non-hazardous wastes.
• Use dry clean-up methods such as brooms, vacuums, and absorbent materials.
• Plug floor drains in material storage areas.
• Remove water supplies from storage areas.
• Store dry materials off the floor and away from liquids by placing catch pans beneath the material.
• Build kerbs around storage areas to keep spills in and water out.
• Prevent corrosion from concrete sweating by storing drums off the floor.
• As materials are received, ensure they have labels indicating product name, weight, concentration, lot number, date, hazard class, and intended use.
• Label all portable bottles.
• Label containers and tanks that contain hazardous materials or wastes.
• Scrutinise layout of plant and equipment to identify opportunities to improve cleaning and maintenance efficiency.
• Improve process start-up and shut-down, and changeover frequency.
• Test the incoming water supply for minerals or chemicals that can spoil the process and cause waste.
• Prevent spills by providing suitable training, equipment, tools, and work areas for operators. Dispense bulk liquids with gravity spigots or pumps. Use a spout and funnel to transfer liquids to different containers.
• Provide recipes and measuring equipment for each chemical treatment operation.
• Reduce the use of salt and dye by optimising the chemistry and temperature of the process.
• Label valves and settings clearly to reduce the chance of inexperienced staff changing things incorrectly or turning them in the wrong direction.
• Use small-volume equipment for small production runs.
• Reduce cleaning requirements by scheduling sequentially the products that use the same production line or equipment.
• Dedicate mixing and production lines to particular products to reduce changeover cleanups.
• Schedule jobs in batches and maximise batch size.
• Avoid shifting production schedules for rush orders.
• Routinely calibrate and adjust automatic process control devices to prevent loss and increase productivity.
• Use high-quality valve and piping material that minimises corrosion and leaks.
• Install spring-loaded nozzles or timers on water supplies to turn them off when not in use.
• Keep records of when and why larger spills occurred to help determine how to prevent future spills.
• Use mechanical or manual wall wipers on tanks.
• Check and service equipment on a regular basis to avoid breakdowns and waste creation.
• Conduct periodic waste audits to identify opportunities for improvement.
• Redesign products to make them less wasteful for the end user.
• Remove soil and other solid wastes without using water.
• Separate useful products from the waste stream early in the process to prevent contamination and maximise the potential for recovery and reuse.
• Inspect storage areas for expired materials and proper labelling.
• Routinely look for potential sources of leaks and spills by checking: pipes, valves, and hoses; process and storage tanks, and equipment attached to them; storage areas for materials, wastes, and empty containers.
• Prevent leaks by using welded pipes instead of flanged pipe joints.
• Install and routinely inspect spill and leak control equipment such as leak detection systems, overflow control devices and alarms, relief valves, interlock devices to stop flow to leaking sections, splash guards and drip boards, and spill basins on dikes.
• Use pumps with double mechanical seals or canned (seal-less) pumps.
• Use flange guards, double seals, and bellow-sealed valves.
• Keep waste streams separate to maximise reuse and recycling. Provide separate bins to enable proper segregation.
• Use local waste exchange programs to share wastes with other companies.
• Collect solids and reincorporate into the product.
• Make food waste a food source for animals or convert to a by-product for human consumption.
• Recycle lubrication oils.
• Sell to recycling companies, composters, and worm farms.
• Set up an area for unwanted materials and equipment that employees can take home.
• Donate unwanted equipment and materials to schools, charities, and other non-profit-making organisations.
• Reuse, recycle, or compost excess, off-spec materials, and samples taken for quality control testing. Off-spec material can be added to an already existing waste stream that is used for animal feed. If some organic waste products are not suitable for use as animal feed, then compost them.
There are several ways that packaging waste can be reduced. Packaging waste from shipping and receiving activities includes cardboard boxes, pallets, plastic-lined cartons, plastic bags, plastic containers, plastic film, metal cans, paper, and aluminium foil. Choose to purchase goods in bulk, with less packaging. Buy larger sizes for products that are used a lot. Discover ways to reuse some of the packaging internally. Arrange with vendors and customers to use returnable packaging (such as reusable plastic pallets), reduce packaging, use packaging that may be easily recycled, and use packaging with recycled content. Return empty containers to suppliers for refilling. Buy heavy-gauge steel drums that can be reconditioned, then recondition them on-site or contract with a drum conditioner.
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