In February of this year, I wrote about how small businesses can contribute to achieving environmental impact reductions stemming from the agreements at COP21 in Paris by creating a “Micro-Waste Impact Strategy.” As US municipalities identify their own strategies to reduce overall waste, increase recycling, and find alternative ways to handle carbon emission heavy materials such as food waste, businesses are presented with more opportunities than ever to take meaningful action on their own.
The following is a sample structure for a Micro-Waste Impact Strategy:
- Set a baseline to understand current waste generation volumes, and the efficiency of current services.
- Identify internal financial budgets for waste collection services.
- Understand current and pending regulations regarding recycling and food waste as they apply to your waste generation volumes.
- Create a system to track ongoing fluctuations in waste generation volumes, and how they compare to your baseline measurement.
- Conduct a waste stream analysis to identify opportunities for reduction, diversion, and efficiency.
- Set goals based on baseline analysis, financial budgets, regulations, and waste stream analysis. Continuously track progress toward your goals.
While this seems like an easy to achieve process, the reality of this can be somewhat daunting. The most time consuming and difficult to maintain component of this strategy approach is measurement. The simple task of setting a baseline can involve a large number of individual measurements. Take for example a business with commercial waste service scheduled for three times per week. To set a baseline and continuously measure ongoing waste generation, they would need to take a large number of measurements:
- 3 Collections per Week
- Set a Baseline over 3-Months: 39 Measurements
- Annual Continuous Monitoring: 156 Measurements
Imagine there are multiple containers per location, and multiple locations, the number of annual measurements could easily increase into the thousands!
Add on the challenge of ensuring measurements are accurate, taken just before collection, and easily communicated to various reporting platforms (for example CABA’s bSPaRK) presents significant roadblocks to establishing the critical baseline for your strategy.
However, when this measurement activity is automated utilizing emerging technology such as Enevo, the action-based components of a Micro-Waste Impact Strategy become reality. The expertise of small businesses can be applied to reducing overall waste volumes, establishing new recycling or food waste diversion programs, and linking behavior within the business to those goals. By receiving automated measurements of volume at each collection, businesses can quickly and easily identify efficiency opportunities with collection schedules, weekly volume patterns, and drastically reduce the overall resources dedicated to achieving waste-related environmental goals.
The waste industry is looking for technology-driven methods of delivering these types of insights to their customers, as recently cited in Enevo’s blog “Customer Obsession is the next revolution in the Waste Industry.” However, it is critical that businesses provide feedback to the industry to ensure that investments are made to benefit businesses and their goals.
Enevo is offering an exclusive trial to select CABA members for three-months. If you are interested in learning more, please complete the Participation Request Form by September 30th, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. By completing the form, you are not obligated to subscribe to any services, and your information will not be shared with any third parties.