WHAT IS THE TRUE COST OF WASTE MANAGEMENT?
How upfront costs are no longer a fair indicator of the true costs of waste management.
We sat down with Sales Director, Anthony Davitt, to looks at how upfront costs are no longer a fair indicator of the true cost of waste management.
Minimising waste costs has rightly remained a priority for the construction industry over the last few years. A ‘no frills’ waste management option might provide a low cost service, but in recent years the true cost of waste is about so much more than those upfront costs.
What used to be a fairly low-risk purchase has become high risk and the concept of value for money has expanded to incorporate a wide range of issues ranging from compliance and health & safety to social value and environmental targets factors. Businesses need to understand where waste management can add value to these areas and protect or enhance a reputation and, where on the flipside, poor practices could cause real damage to an organisation’s brand.
There’s a cost to compliance
The government continues to support a move towards a circular economy, move waste up the waste hierarchy, and reduce quantities of residual waste generated.
Businesses need to collaborate closely with their waste management companies to not only stay abreast of waste regulations but to help them comply. Non-compliance does not only lead to fines but can damage an organisation’s professional reputation, particularly as all businesses face greater scrutiny over their impacts on society and the environment. Partnering with a waste management contractor that is reputable and experienced, audited and accredited, with all the checks and balances that come with that, will become even more important in helping to safeguard a business.
Minimising health and safety risks
Storing, collecting and transporting waste present risks. These risks obviously need to be identified and managed, something that is much easier for businesses to achieve in close collaboration with their waste contractor. Nobody wants a health & safety incident on their site, whether their fault or that of the contractor.
A responsible waste contractor will deliver not just compliance but best practice in health and safety, for example through driver and operative training. They will employ vehicle cameras, telematics, and other technological advances to not just minimise the risk of health & safety incidents but ensure that in the unlikely event that there is one, the incident can be fully investigated and evidenced.
Meeting environmental targets
All businesses are under more and more pressure to meet challenging environmental targets and reduce their carbon emissions. Scope 3 emissions becoming increasingly important for many businesses, and waste is a significant Scope 3 emission that will need to be considered for most businesses as part of net-zero targets.
It used to be that good recycling rates and zero waste to landfill were enough. Businesses now need waste partners that can also move materials further up the waste hierarchy find the best solution for waste, minimise waste miles, reduce the carbon footprint of waste treatment, and provide the metrics to evidence efforts to tackle climate change.
We proudly revealed our Net Zero Roadmap earlier this year, within our latest Sustainability Manifesto – which you can download from our website. You might be surprised at how your choice of waste management contractor could affect whether your waste is a negative or positive impact on a wide range of environmental targets.
Understanding what you are paying for
What all these factors have in common are investment – in facilities, fleet, people, accreditations, technology and in the community. Value for money will of course always be a key consideration for waste contracts, however, businesses need to understand clearly what they are paying for and how what’s important has changed in recent years. Paying a bit extra should ensure a service that can deliver far more than the simple collection of waste. What’s vital is to understand longer-term risks and opportunities from waste management and to collaborate closely to ensure that upfront costs really are the only price a business pays.
We were pleased to have awarded this contract to Powerday. They have delivered their services efficiently and reliably, achieved high recycling rates and 100% recovery, meeting our requirements throughout the project. They have been easy to deal with, reasonable and fair. We have been particularly impressed with their account management and waste reporting capabilities
Dave France, Project Director, Ecoworld Ballymore