Wednesday, November 30 2022


Becky Tucker, COO of SL Recycling, looks at how manufacturers can reduce waste.

How can manufacturers reduce waste?

If you’re looking for waste reduction methods, the good news is that you’ve taken the first step to helping your business reduce waste. Recognizing that reducing manufacturing waste is important is key to implementing measures that will help you get there. Manufacturing is a huge industry spanning various sectors, the environmental impact of the waste produced is profound.

Waste is produced in every manufacturing process, and that’s not going to change anytime soon, but there are smart and ingenious ways to help minimize the environmental impact and save you money at the same time. Here are some options…

Reduce packaging

The most obvious and easiest way to reduce manufacturing waste is to reduce waste at the process stage, starting with the packaging of your products. Think about the materials used in the packaging and consider replacing them with recyclable alternatives or assess whether the packaging is absolutely necessary in any case.

Analyzing the entire supply chain and where unnecessary packaging may be used can significantly reduce the waste created.

Organize and label

Another simple solution is to organize your processes and labeling, to ensure that no material is wasted incorrectly or accidentally. Not only will this save you money, but it will also help you reduce unnecessary C02 production.

By having clearly marked recycling and waste bins, signposted processes around the building, and labeled perishables with sell-by dates, you reduce the risk of human error. Being organized is especially important for start-ups and when onboarding new employees. Modern technology can particularly contribute to the efficient use and storage of products in a warehouse, with the digitization of products automating the collection and reporting of key data such as expiry date on a warehouse management system.

Recycle and reuse

Try to create a circular economy in your business by reusing materials. For example, wooden pallets can be used to produce a range of products, including bedding for horses and poultry, surfaces for equestrian and play areas, raw materials for panels and biofuel. Surplus metals can be sold to recycling companies offering a clear financial and environmental benefit for your company.

food waste is another big cause of waste, given that the UK produces 10 million tonnes of food waste every year. Instead of letting food go to landfill, redistribute it to food banks or pet food producers. When it is not possible to redistribute food waste, it can be transferred for anaerobic digestion; a process by which renewable energy is created from waste.

Just because a product or material is no longer useful to your business or manufacturing processes doesn’t mean it’s lost value.

Cut out middlemen

Employing someone to handle your waste disposal may seem like the easiest solution to your excessive waste problem, but it’s important to make sure you choose the right company. Choose a waste management company that can offer end-to-end waste management, which means there are no hidden third-party costs or unnecessary transportation costs. Look for a full service vendor which offers flexible, personalized and economical waste management solutions, which are committed to working for a zero waste solution to landfill.

Without a costly middleman, recycling and other positive waste management methods are more efficient and effective.

Reduce transport

If you only produce small amounts of waste each week, but lack the space to store it, you could actually be working counterproductively, as you’ll waste money and energy regularly transporting it. waste to landfills or recycling centers.

Opt instead for rent a dumpster which you can fill with trash and then have it picked up when it fills up. Choose a waste supplier who can offer a range of dumpsters and waste containers available for business hire, helping manufacturers better manage their waste loads and expenses.

Make money with metal

Rightly or wrongly, there’s often no better incentive to take care of the environment by reducing your waste output than the opportunity to make money doing it. If your company produces large quantities of scrap metalyou can arrange for it to be picked up and purchased by scrap metal recyclers.

This metal (whether production equipment, machinery or redundant stock) is then recycled and resold, meaning other companies can buy recycled metal and thereby reduce their own carbon footprint.

Volume reduction

To avoid wastage from overproduction, try to fine-tune processes so that orders are always well sized and build strong relationships with your suppliers to reduce lead times and improve picking processes.

Reduce manufacturing waste with SL Recycling

Get in touch with our team of experts to find out how we can help you through the waste management process.

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