Creating an effective recycling process

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Whatever the business you’re in, developing effective recycling practices can help to save time and money. Certainly where industrial waste is concerned there are likely to be numerous guidelines to take note of and rules to adhere to. But, even if you’re just looking to better manage general recycling it’s useful to have a plan and a structure. Here are a few tips for getting started and keeping it going.

  • Identify people to be involved – There will be a number of processes involved so having people involved at each step that can take responsibility is a good start. For some recycling operations you will need people in all of the following functions – sales and/or account management, scheduling, compliance management and reporting, logistics/collection, goods-in, recycling operations (i.e. processing the goods or waste), dispatch/shipping and finance.
  • Walk through each process – It may be that there is already a process in place and this is an opportunity for some modifications. If this is the case walk through the current processes and see where any slippage may have occurred over time, some operations do not always follow documented steps and processes have a habit of “creeping” or “morphing” as they go along.
  • Document the process – Map out the major steps in your process and then go back and fill in details later on. You might find it easier to do this in diagram form rather than just text, especially if there are a few steps involved. This can be useful for many reasons including training new staff or if you are required to do so, explaining your processes to auditors.
  • Review and discuss – When you’ve first completed your documentation it’s a good idea to get the members of your team together to review everything you’ve put down. Check each step and checks for risks or better alternatives. You might want to ask questions such as – ‘are there any opportunities for security/hazard exposures’ and ‘can steps be removed or rearranged to improve the efficiency of the process’?
  • Physical controls and visual aids – Physical controls may restrict access to certain areas or create a flow where people can only enter or exit through specific doors. They are controls put in place to ensure safety and that process cannot become compromised in any way. Visual aids such as colour coding for hazardous or potentially hazardous material helps with identification and raising awareness to potential health and safety issues.
  • Have a dry run – If it’s possible and safe to do so have a trial run through the processes you’re looking to implement. If you identify issues are areas for improvement then make changes and update the documentation.
  • Keep checking and reviewing – Make a habit of continuously reviewing your processes and looking for opportunities for improvement. This will also help to avoid any steps starting to be overlooked at time goes by.

For each industry and type of recycling there will be certain factors that will be unique. For that reason these tips have been designed to be deliberately vague. However, they do offer a starting point for implementing an effective system for recycling in a business environment. It is also worth remembering that for each type of recycling there will be experts available to help or advise on how best to deal with specific products.

At RecycleIT4U we understand why taking care to dispose of your old computer hardware properly is important both from the viewpoint of the environment and the protection of your data. The components of a computer can include a dangerous mixture of hazardous and toxic chemicals, including lead and mercury. Some of the chemicals may also release dioxins if burned. Ensuring that these elements are kept away from groundwater or from being released into the air is extremely important for the environment.

Using a specialist recycler will ensure that that any hazardous materials and chemicals are removed safely and correctly. Based in Telford, Shropshire, Recycle IT 4U was formed in 2004 to help organisations dispose of electronic equipment in an environmentally friendly manner and in accordance with all relevant legislation. We pride ourselves in refurbishing, reusing and recycling for spares and repairs as much as possible, so equipment can have a second lease of life.

Any equipment not suitable for our refurbishment programme or spares, is separated and then sent in bulk to our Strategic Partner, the world’s largest waste management company for further recycling and separation into glass, metal and plastics and reintroduced into the manufacturing chain as raw materials. We can offer cash rebates on PCs and laptops less than 3 years old, if fully populated with all components and suitable for our refurbishment programme. We can also arrange for the destruction and wiping of unwanted sensitive data. For more information visit our website