Does your facility run a recycling program? Well, hopefully. But waste management in general is full of decisions you have to make that affect both what you can recycle and what you can save.
Hauler contracts are full of conditions and fees. Your decision to choose one over another can make a huge cost difference over time. One thing that can help you make a better decision? Better recycling data.
How To Get Better Recycling Data
How much do you recycle? is your recycling program getting better? Staying the same? Getting worse? Can you even answer that question?
Sure, you might have a weekly pickup schedule. But is the amount consistent week-to-week? Or is your hauler picking up overstuffed bins one week only to find them half-empty the next?
And is all your recycling actually making it to the correct place? Because a misplaced plastic bag can really mess up the recycling plant. A little confusion, unaddressed, can undo all your recycling plans.
Start With Education
Before we talk about actually gathering that data, let’s deal with waste at the point it actually becomes waste: when someone first puts it in a bin. If someone gets it wrong at this point, there’s often little you can do about it — and sometimes, you’ll get hit with a fee.
We’ve got a few tips on this topic over here, but running a lunch and learn workshop is a common way of getting everyone on the same page. It’s also effective to have clear signage right next to the bins. Most people are happy to pitch in and help in recycling efforts — you just have to make it easy for them.
Getting it right at this early stage will lead to cleaner data when it’s time to collect it.
Collecting Better Data
Connect your bins to the internet. Really.
With image sensing technology in your bins, you not only can check what’s actually in them without having to go down there in person — but you’ll know how full they are and have all that data tracked automatically.
Over the course of a couple of months, you’ll build up a dataset that you can use to actually analyze your waste management trends. The longer you track, the more you’ll have, and the more empowered you’ll be to take better control of the process.
Now, when it comes to contract negotiations, you’ll be armed with the full picture of what your waste pickup needs are — and not only be able to find the hauler that fits your needs best, but the pickup schedule that works for you too.
Get Started With RecycleSmart
We’d love to help you get set up with those sensors. And? We can help you with those contracts. Learn a little more about what we do to help organizations lower their waste management costs through these case studies.