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6 Common Waste Management Challenges (And How to Solve Them)

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6 Common Waste Management Challenges (And How to Solve Them)

Managing waste effectively and efficiently is no easy undertaking. With a complex set of best practices and regulations to keep in mind, environmental professionals have to work carefully to protect their company’s reputation and avoid fines. 

Small teams may struggle to balance all that comes with managing and tracking their waste, and all who exist within the industry face mounting pressure to improve operational efficiency while reducing costs. Luckily, with the technology and software available today, smart Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) teams cannot only save money, but predict future costs that will ultimately help streamline their operations. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss six of the most common challenges organizations face when it comes to managing waste and identifying ways to solve these problems with the help of the right waste management software solution. 

Not Having a Plan

One of the best things any company can do is create a documented process for any program or task you might have. This creates a structured way to communicate with anyone in the organization on reducing risk, ensuring compliance, and increasing profitability. With a strong plan, your entire team will be able to understand any assumption and think through any contingency plans as operating conditions or manufacturing outputs change.

Keeping Costs Predictable

Most EHS professionals will keep a close eye on their budget and work to keep costs as predictable as possible. But in order to do this effectively, you’ll need to have the correct data (and the right amount of it) to ensure you’re staying within budget or, ideally, identifying cost-savings opportunities. By using the right software, you can standardize the way you collect data and predict future costs by uncovering patterns and trends in your organizational spending. 

Meeting Sustainability Objectives

Over the years, the pressure to improve sustainability outcomes has grown significantly among customers, employees, and organizations. Investors are also keeping an eye on this trend and are making financial decisions based on a company’s sustainability performance and commitment to reducing environmental footprint. A fundamental way to meet these objectives is to track data surrounding waste streams and volumes at their respective facilities. By understanding what is being collected, companies can more easily find realistic ways to reduce, reclaim and recycle waste. Additionally, software helps ensure that reporting to external stakeholders is accurate and auditable. 

Engaging Operations 

Your operations team is the heart and soul of your waste management facility. Whether conducting inspections or ensuring that waste ends up in the right place, they are often juggling a significant number of tasks vital for compliance. As such, having a strong relationship with your operations team can go a long way toward making sure that everything is done correctly and garnering buy-in from the rest of the team. EHS software allows you to easily communicate with teams via mobile devices, and makes it simple to build compliance right into their work. Additionally, the software can includes features that simplify work. For example, Cority can track which facility a worker is inand only show fields relevant to that facility, reducing the time it takes to complete an inspection and preventing any confusion that irrelevant questions may create.

Disparate Processes

For many companies, waste management is administered in a variety of ways, whether that be homegrown systems, spreadsheets, or handwritten notes. Since these practices can vary from one facility to the next, it can be difficult for an EHS team to gain a holistic understanding of a company’s performance. By implementing a centralized waste management and tracking system, companies can feel confident that that it is simple to create an aggregated view of waste data while maintaining compliance in an efficient and cost-effective way. 

Visibility into Vender Performance

Managing vendors and waste haulers is necessary for many EHS teams and brings its own set of challenges, like understanding and reconciling all the costs associated with handling waste. EHS software helps alleviate this burden with dashboards that provide transparency and simple auditing software that lets you get a handle on costs. Vendors can login directly to the software on mobile devices to log key data, or the software can flexibly integrate with vendor systems or spreadsheets. From there, you can make more informed decisions around predicting costs and comparing vendor performance.

Learn More About Waste Management Best Practices

This blog just scratches the surface of all the ways you can address common waste management problems. Download our eBook to learn more about the ways you can address the common challenges organizations face when managing their waste programs, as well as what you should look for in a waste management software solution.