How Industries can reduce
Together with the commercial and institutional sectors, industry is responsible for up to 70 percent of the solid waste stream, according to the North Carolina Environment, Health and Natural Resources Department. So helping industry understand and practice source reduction can have a significant effect on reducing the waste stream.
A primary responsibility of economic-minded industry managers will be to research and develop new ways for improving operational procedures and managing inventory more effectively. These responsibilities are consistent with the objectives of source reduction.
In addition, the design and marketing of products provide opportunities for reducing the amount of waste associated with consumption of a product.
To restate, local manufacturers have two possible source reduction approaches:
Solid waste planners can work with industries to help them delvelop source reduction programs. This will involve:
Often used to quantify sources, types and amounts of waste in a specific waste stream, data captured from a waste audit can be used to identify types of materials that may be reduced or recycled. Waste audits also aid processors in estimating amounts of marketable wastes, transportation costs and potential market rates for materials.
Use the materials in this website to develop and/or participate in educational programs to assist generators in identifying source reduction opportunities.
conduct source reduction workshops to teach or develop skills in local industries.
Develop local waste-audit teams to assist area businesses.
Solid waste planners can assist with developing economically and environmentally advantageous programs such as information sharing and waste-exchange programs.
Once industries implement source reduction programs, solid waste planners can provide window stickers or plaques to show customers the business is working to reduce waste.
Groups of businesses in similar industries or located close to each other can be encouraged to work together and with technical and a professional associations on source reduction strategies. By gathering purchasing and environmental program managers into work groups, ideas can be exchanged and solutions to waste-reduction problems developed.
How one solid waste management district is helping industries reduce.
And example of solid waste planners working with industries is the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District's industry waste minimization program. The NISWMD provides ongoing assistance to industry through on-site waste audits, workshops for employee "green teams," identification of recyclables and end markets, and follow-up recommendations.
The goal of this program is to provide on-site assessment of an industry's waste stream, suggest possible waste-minimization practices and provide potential market outlets for recyclable wastes. This program benefits industry through reduced disposal costs, and it benefits the NISWMD through waste reductions achieved.
Industries doing an exemplary job at source reduction and recycling are showcased in periodic feature articles in the business section of local newspapers. For more information, call Barry Bender, education coordinator, NISWMD, 219-925-4857.