Industrial manufacturing has given the world access to amazing technologies. Since the 1800s, industrial processes have allowed consumers to receive goods that offer greater consistency of quality, lower costs and ease of availability despite geographical limitations. The downside to industrial manufacturing, however, is that many of the processes involved ultimately generate waste.
Thankfully, processes that involve things like solvent recovery for improved sustainability can be implemented to reduce waste and protect community health. In addition, many processes involving the recovery and recycling of chemical agents and materials can save on costs while also reducing the need for raw material processing and production in the first place.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce waste in industrial manufacturing, below are some tips:
1. Recycle Packing and Transport Materials
While processes like solvent recovery can have a large positive impact on facility budgets, you can also reuse and recycle packing and transport materials to better the environment.
For example, consider reusing pallets or packing bins to save on costs. Keep in mind that implementing these strategies may involve the creation of additional work to inspect or clean materials, so you need to strike a balance to experience true cost savings.
2. Know the Regulations
If you work in industrial manufacturing, you’re likely already familiar with safety guidelines and regulations as set out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). In keeping with the guidelines provided by these organizations, you may find that some waste generated by your facility can actually be disposed of in a more eco-friendly manner.
As such, now is a good time to educate all workers at your facility about best practices for surrounding the treatment of industrial waste. When everyone is on the same page and is knowledgeable about how waste should be disposed of or recycled, you have the ability to cut down on your facility’s impact on the environment.
3. Look for On-Site Solutions
It’s also worth considering on-site solutions for processing and recycling. While sending used chemicals and waste materials to a separate facility may take the work out of processing, you can sometimes reduce the impact of your facility’s waste by handling things yourself. This is often a major benefit for facilities that already ship chemical agents off to outsourced industrial solvent recycling systems.
For example, some solvents can be recycled on-site instead of being shipped off for processing. By implementing a unit at your facility, there will be less need to transport used agents to an off-site facility, meaning less fuel is required and fewer greenhouse gases are emitted due to transportation. Solvent distillation systems that are used for in-house recovery can remove byproducts and return agents that are virgin or near-virgin in quality.
4. Utilize Digital Internal Communications
On the administrative side of things, many industrial manufacturing facilities can reduce waste by turning to digital communications strategies instead of traditional paper. When you switch to digital internal communications for the majority of memos, notifications and announcements, your facility spends less on printing and wastes less paper.
5. Track Waste Output
If you don’t know how much waste you’re generating, it can be difficult to implement strategies to reduce waste. This is why it’s a good idea to implement tracking metrics that can demonstrate and chart how much waste is being created and from where waste is being generated. Once you have a tracking plan in place, you’re able to pinpoint key areas that need more focus when it comes to waste reduction strategies.
Look at the Big Picture
When considering industrial waste, it can be easy to only take a snapshot of your facility’s contribution. This view is limited and does not take into account the ways in which waste can affect the environment as a whole.
Instead, take some time to map out the timeline for waste disposal from beginning to end to get a better sense of how waste reduction can benefit everyone. You may be surprised at just how impactful you can be simply by tracking your waste and turning to solutions like solvent recovery systems.