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4 Essential Projects To Implement After Zero-Waste Absorbents

By Gabby Hernandez, Social Media & Communications Coordinator

A vendor-managed absorbent recycling program allows your skilled labor force the time to improve processes and increase efficiency. Without spending hours each week sweeping granulated absorbents and dealing with inefficient disposable mats, your team can spend that valuable time on something more beneficial to your organization. Seeing how quickly a relatively simple change can improve productivity, you might wonder what project to take on next. Use this opportunity to improve your operations, update training and safety programs, and even eliminate another waste stream.

1. Organize and Optimize.

Assign someone in each department to take inventory and organize each item in their collective workspace. Go deep in storage or often-overlooked areas to account for every tool, cleaning supply, and product. You may find duplicate items or items that were once useful but no longer serve a purpose. Finally, get rid of things you don’t need and put things you do need in easy-to-find places. Follow the 5S guidelines: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain.

2. Instill a Safety Culture.

Too often, safety hazards aren’t recognized until an accident occurs. By creating and maintaining a safety culture, you can be more proactive than reactive. Print up-to-date guidelines and post them in highly-visible areas. Ensure that every person on your team understands the importance of following these guidelines by coordinating regular safety meetings. Motivate employees to engage in these meetings by encouraging suggestions and asking questions. Reward your team for improving safety and always include safety as part of every goal.

3. Improve Training Programs.

Compare goals with results to identify areas of improvement in each department. If something is consistently being missed, a new training approach may be the key. When was the last time your training plan was updated? Much of today’s workforce responds better to highly visual or interactive training rather than outdated manuals or one-sided presentations. Above all, focus on continuous communication between the trainer and the trainees.

4. Find Another Waste Stream to Eliminate.

Take a look at the large waste streams in your facility and ask if there is a way to reduce or eliminate the amount of waste generated. Sometimes, the largest waste streams can be front and center in operations: personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and sleeves are worn by almost every warehouse employee. When these items get dirty, many organizations throw them away, leading to a waste of both materials and money. PPE laundering can help you divert a large chunk of waste from landfills while improving safety and saving up to 80% off the cost of purchasing new material.

Ready to eliminate another waste stream?

Gabby Hernandez has worked at CLR’s St. Louis headquarters since 2016. She manages CLR’s social media, blog, and memberships in recycling organizations.