Good housekeeping procedures to minimise raw material waste

Housekeeping is a general term used to describe how a facility's daily activities are carried out. Housekeeping measures include storage, inventory control, cleaning, maintenance, and record keeping. Good housekeeping is

Table 3.1 A hierarchy of waste minimization approaches (from May & Flannery 1995)

I Waste prevention and reduction

• Good housekeeping: improve maintenance procedures, monitor leaky valves and fittings, maintain proper material handling and transfer, segregate waste streams, and tighten inventory controls.

• Material or product substitution: replace hazardous materials and products with less toxic or less hazardous ones. Use water-based paints and cleaners instead of oil-based equivalents.

• Process modification: alter manufacturing processes themselves. Use 'environmental re-engineering' to change thinking about the environmental impact of such processes.

II Recycle and reuse

• Collect and treat waste streams such as used oils and solvents. Use on-site or off-site recycling processes.

• Design products for disassembly and reuse.

III Waste treatment

• Prevent hazardous waste from entering the environment. Treat waste with biological, chemical, or physical processes to break down waste components into harmless compounds.

• Develop waste treatment services and offer services to customers and other businesses.

IV Waste disposal

• Ensure that landfills used for waste disposal are designed to protect the environment, particularly underground water supplies.

crucial for ensuring that a company is run efficiently. It is also the first and most essential step to minimising waste and saving resources. Good housekeeping is usually at the top of the list of waste minimisation strategies because it is the simplest, most cost-effective approach (see Table 3.1). The objective of good housekeeping is to minimise material losses and prevent unnecessary waste generation through the practice of routine procedures. Good housekeeping practices in commercial settings are similar to those in a home. They are things that can be done to maintain cleanliness and prevent spills or accidents. Good housekeeping approaches include improving maintenance procedures, monitoring leaky valves and fittings, maintaining proper material handling and transfer, segregating waste streams, and tightening inventory controls.

Good housekeeping procedures can be applied to all activities in food processing facilities, including purchasing, materials accounting, inventory control, receiving, delivery, storage, proper labelling, optimising operations and processes, preventive maintenance, and recovery/reuse/recycling.

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