‘Tis the season for the mercury to drop. For business owners, this means it is time to give thought to winter waste management. Cold weather brings its own, unique set of waste management challenges. That is why it is important for winter months to form a well thought out part of every business’s waste management strategy. In this blog, we outline some of the top challenges faced from a waste management perspective and some top tips to relieve the strain on your business.
Winter Waste Challenges
CHALLENGE #1: SEVERE WEATHER
It is easy to become accustomed to regular waste collections during warmer months. This often means we take it for granted by the time the weather starts to turn. However, severe weather can cause delays and dangers around waste collections – and this could have a knock-on effect for your business. Specifically, for waste purposes, we are primarily concerned with two areas:
- On the road, affecting collections
- Around your business premises or offices
TOP TIPS FOR BAD WEATHER
Assist by clearing a path to your bins
Work with your facilities manager or maintenance company to ensure access to your bins is as clear as possible. Your facilities maintenance manager will be able to assist in advising on how to make for easy, clear, safe collections no matter the weather.
Ensure workplace safety
Think about how waste moves around your business premises. If it is moved by forklift, be aware of how treacherous icy routes could be for operators. This applies in equal measure to anyone transporting waste on foot. Concentrate on de-icing these areas.
CHALLENGE #2: FROZEN WASTE
When waste freezes, it expands. This has the potential to damage waste bins and containers in extremely low temperatures.
When waste freezes and then thaws again, there is a real chance of contamination. This creates a host of problems for effective recycling.
In the case of mixed waste bins, different waste types may freeze together and present real difficulty in separation for recycling purposes.
TOP TIPS TO PREVENT WASTE FREEZE
- Leave space in your bins This will take up some of the pressure and make room for expansion should your waste freeze.
- Keep your bins closed If water gets into your bins or containers during rain or snowstorms, this makes waste freeze even easier.
- Keep your bins indoors If the temperature really drops, you might have to move your bins indoors to prevent waste freeze.
CHALLENGE #3: WET WASTE
The problem with wet waste is that it can render an entire bin contaminated. This is understandable in the case of cardboard and paper, but can be the case for plastics and metal too.
TOP TIPS TO PREVENT WET WASTE
- Keep bins closed and sealed to prevent water getting in
- Very wet outside? Keep your bins indoors.
CHALLENGE #4: WIND
Wind is normally a component of bad weather spells. In strong winds, bins can blow over and get damaged. If they are kept out in the open, this can also result in waste getting blown far and wide. An unsightly mess, this is also bad for your business image and reputation – especially if you publicise your green policies.
TOP TIPS TO PREVENT WIND WASTE PROBLEMS
Keep an eye on the weather and react to strong winds. Move waste indoors wherever possible in the case of severe weather. Well-sealed, lockable bins can also be a solution.
CHALLENGE #5: HOLIDAYS
We all love the holiday season, but the holidays also present some challenges for businesses. The end of year may mean operations quieten for some businesses. For others, it is the busiest and most lucrative time of year.
- From a waste perspective, the holidays can mean a lot of additional waste.
- The holidays can upset your waste collection schedule.
- The Christmas season can be a leave-intensive time. If there are particular staff responsible for ensuring waste is ready for collection, failure to handle the logistics of this could result in missed collections and stockpiled waste.
TOP TIPS TO HANDLE HOLIDAYS
Conduct internal training around your business waste policy so everyone knows how to handle any additional waste. This will also ensure you re-use, reduce, and recycle as effectively as possible during this busy time.
- Get in contact with your waste management company to find out if there are any changes to the waste collection schedule over the holidays.
- If the staff responsible for ensuring waste is ready for collection are away, ensure alternative arrangements are made.
Winter Waste Quick Tips
Beat the freeze
In the event of heavy snowfall, do not leave your bins behind snowbanks and dig them out of snow if you are safely able to do so. Salt the ground around your containers and gates and fences for safe and easy access.
The best way to prepare is to know what to expect
Find out your waste management company’s winter policy and ask questions around the upcoming holidays and if the weather takes a severe turn.
No time to waste
The end of the year is the ideal time to give some thought to the new year and to strategise around what you would like to achieve. Working with waste management specialists will inevitably open up real points of strategy for commercial waste management.
Take care of your employees
Cold weather usually comes with sniffles. Invest in warming your premises and ensure your boiler and heating is maintained and ready for when it gets chilly. Getting staff buy-in is an important part of achieving your waste management goals – and keeping them healthy, happy, and comfortable in their work environment is the first step.
What are you throwing away?
If winter is the time to spring-clean, look at what you are putting in the bin. If you are looking to go into the new year with a new look in the office, your furniture can find new life somewhere else. From donating to the needy to holding a quick garage sale, there are options other than landfill.
From skating on ice to the hazard of puddles creating slippery floors, an increased number of falls happen during winter. This should be one of the primary worries of business owners – for the safety of their staff and customers and to avert liability. Make sure your waste is kept well clear of entrances, walkways, and fire exits.
Worried about your business’s winter waste management? Smarter Business is here to help. Our team of waste management specialists are on-hand to provide:
- Award-winning customer service
- Bins to suit your needs
- Strategic and approved suppliers
- Tailored waste management solutions
- Payments and invoicing
- National suppliers
- 12-month, fixed price contracts
- Easy, flexible payment methods
Contact our waste management specialists today.
Bolster your winter waste strategy with winter facilities maintenance to ensure functioning equipment and primed properties for optimal waste collection.