Waste management seems like a fancy term. In the end, though, it’s just a way to describe what happens after you clean up around the house. After all, moving dirt and debris around isn’t effective. It all has to go somewhere, and it’s best to know where.
If you’re looking to build a better waste management plan, we have some advice for you. Many of these apply whether you’re a homeowner or you’re in the construction and demolition business.
A good first move is to reduce the amount of waste you make.
Recyclable or returnable products are one step. You could also cut down by not buying single-use items or anything that is individually-wrapped. Reusable bags and containers when shopping or for packing lunches or leftovers are ideal.
Food scraps can be useful.
Depending on the nature of the scraps, you can do two things. One option is to cook them. Yes, this can be done, and there are some great recipes out there. The other option, if you have a garden, is to use them as compost.
Remember that a plan is a process, not a singular event.
Plans are frameworks. They help us identify a starting point, an end goal, and the path that we take between those two points. In many cases, it also provides a structure that allows us to recognise progress as it occurs, so we don’t lose motivation due to believing nothing good is coming out of it.
The ability to perform a plan is necessary. It needs to be regularly evaluated, and sometimes changes and improvements are required. If you want to have a better waste management plan, you’re going to have to keep at it. It isn’t a one-time deal, but a constant commitment to improve the process.
When dumping your waste, be sure to sort properly beforehand.
This may not seem like a big deal at first. However, being diverted from a landfill can become a huge issue. When materials are not properly sorted, it delays their trip to their eventual destination – whether that is a recycling centre, an incinerator, or something else entirely.
Taking the proverbial scenic route just causes this problem. Instead, make sure you know where something is going and sorting them before making the trip. This may take a little time, but having containers or bins that are marked for easier sorting can help.
When possible, use sustainable materials. This is a more indirect method, but no less valuable.
What is a sustainable material? In simple terms, it’s something that is naturally available and isn’t of limited supply or easily renewed. For example, growing oak to the point where it is useful lumber can take years. In a fraction of that time, certain species of tree can produce viable timbers and grow back.
Using these materials won’t have much of an impact on your regular waste cycle. However, it does have an enormous impact on the overall planet. These materials are sustainable, meaning that their impact is small enough that the environment recovers more readily.