The “five a day” way for Facilities Managers to avoid a legislation headache

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith

According to recent statistics published in FM World, nine out of 10 facilities managers see legislation compliance as the most important aspect of their role. Ahead of the Facilities Show, Grundon director Bradley Smith, provides five top tips for keeping ahead of rules and regulations on waste management and improving sustainability at the same time:

With a myriad of tasks falling under their remit, facilities managers do a great job handling everything from energy management to maintenance strategies; smart technology to real estate.

Sandwiched in there is waste management, an essential part of all businesses, no matter the size or sector.

Lurking in every office, canteen, workshop, showroom and factory will be a host of different types of waste – some hazardous (chemicals, batteries, PPE, cleaning fluids, contaminated packaging and oily rags et al) – others including plastics, paper, cardboard…the list is endless.

The simplest way to ensure compliance with all requisite Environment Agency legislation, and avoid either financial or reputational risk, is to streamline your waste collection services under one roof. Working with one supplier ensures the most efficient and cost-effective solution and gives FMs the chance to develop a totally bespoke service which meets all their needs.

Here are just some of the things FMs should be thinking about to make their life easier:

  • Make sure your waste management provider is up-to-date with the latest legislation themselves – if they aren’t, they can’t help you
  • Ask for audit trails and regular environmental reporting statistics – it demonstrates how your attention to detail and investment in waste management is making a difference. Plus, it’s very useful “ammunition” when it comes to budget time
  • Think big – rather than viewing different types of waste across the organisation in isolation, look at it as one big issue and work with a supplier who has the capability to handle a variety of waste streams. In doing so, you’ll reduce paperwork, cut down on the number of vehicle movements (good for the environment) and have a single point of contact
  • Be innovative – if you have a canteen, consider separating out food waste from general waste. By sending food waste to anaerobic digestion facilities, you’re helping to generate renewable energy and create bio-fertiliser, so much better than sending it to landfill. Replace under desk bins with corridor boxes and encourage employees to separate out paper and cardboard for recycling from mixed waste – it’s surprising what a difference that can make. For small amounts of hazardous waste, consider introducing a Haz-Box, a small container designed to fit neatly into a cupboard and which is ideal for disposing of old aerosols, cleaning fluids and other chemicals
  • Education – all the systems in the world won’t make a difference if your staff don’t buy into what you are trying to achieve. Find a supplier who will work with you, for example, jointly raising awareness through events, seminars, tours of waste facilities and encouraging waste champions to fly the flag for this really important sector

Of course we don’t expect FMs to tackle all these points in true “five a day” fashion, but whether it takes five days, five weeks or even five months…we can promise that following the top tips will help the environmental legislation headache go away.

And if you’re visiting the Facilities Show 2015 (taking place at Excel, London between Tuesday 16 June and Thursday 18 June), and you want to find out more about how Grundon’s Total Waste Management service can help you, then come on over to stand Q1005 and say hello – we look forward to seeing you.

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