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Waste

Waste Introduction

Waste is any material or substance that is discarded from a factory site, which can pollute and contaminate the environment and surrounding communities.

 Example of waste can include, but not limited to:

  • Non-hazardous waste is discarded materials from the consumption of goods and services and the manufacture of goods. Non-hazardous waste usually includes non-hazardous production waste and domestic waste. Non-hazardous production waste is generated from manufacturing process directly, e.g., cloth, leather, plastic, and paper or packaging waste. Domestic waste includes food waste and sanitary waste. Food waste is typically generated from facility canteens and kitchens. Sanitary waste is the household waste from office and dormitory areas, e.g., toilet paper, yard/garden waste, glass, and food packaging.
  • Hazardous waste is waste that could cause harm to public health and/or the environment because of its chemical, physical, or biological characteristics (e.g., it is flammable, explosive, toxic, radioactive, or infectious). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines hazardous waste as “waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, or gases, or sludge. The requirements for managing hazardous waste are stricter than for non‐hazardous waste.”  (http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/)

However, the classification into hazardous and non-hazardous waste may differ from one country legislation to another, defining which types of waste are categorized as hazardous differently. A facility should at minimum follow the legal waste requirements. If legal requirements are not available, it is recommended to select more stringent industry guidelines.

The Higg Index Waste section requires you to:

  • Understand and track all hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams
  • Record and Report the volume generated and disposal method for all hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams
  • Segregate, properly store, and train workers to handle all hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams
  • Forbid open burning and dumping of waste on-site and properly control any onsite incineration
  • Set normalized baselines for waste generated (e.g., generated 20 Kgs of domestic waste per production unit in 2016) and percentage of waste to disposal methods (e.g., landfilled 80% of domestic waste in 2016)
  • Set normalized targets for waste reductions and improvements to preferred disposal methods
  • Set an action plan with specific actions and strategies to achieve waste reduction targets
  • Demonstrate waste reductions against the baseline such as “Last year we generated 16 Kgs of domestic waste per unit of production which is a 20% annual reduction since 2016.”
  • Leading practice: Divert at least 90 percent of all discarded materials from landfills, incinerators without energy recovery, and the environment
  • Leading practice: Upcycle waste by transforming waste materials into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

 Waste performance can be improved in two ways:

  1. By reducing the total amount of waste generated for your facility. This is the most preferred method because it will reduce waste amount from the original source.
  2. By switching to preferred methods of disposal such as recycling, reuse, recycling, or appropriately controlled incineration with energy recovery.

 

Waste - Level 1

1. Which non-hazardous waste streams does your site produce? Select all that apply:

Materials (please specify):

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Paper
  • Cans
  • Food
  • Glass
  • Cartons
  • Other (please specify)
  • All domestic waste combined

 Suggested Upload: Waste Manifest

 Includes non-hazardous production waste and domestic waste.

You will receive full points if you are completely tracking all waste streams that your facility generates and the quantity of each waste stream.

You will receive partial points if you are completely tracking at least one of your waste sources, but are not yet tracking all of your sources.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is to build awareness of all non-hazardous waste types (both production and domestic waste) at your facility and to start tracking the volume each waste type generates. You must know your sources of waste before you can make strategic decisions on how to reduce and divert waste. It’s important to understand your current waste management practices and to prioritize improvements for the waste sources that you produce the most. By doing this you can find more effective alternatives to reduce and divert waste. 

Technical Guidance:

Developing a waste inventory is the first step in understanding the environmental impacts of the waste your facility generates. To begin with, map out your facility’s business activities and processes in order to identify where you generate waste on-site, understand the type of waste and its hazard(s), the quantity of waste, how it is disposed of, and how it needs to be managed. 

The following terminology will help you understand how to complete this question:

  • All waste streams means all the waste produced on-site including waste generated from manufacturing product, office use, waste produced by workers at the canteen, dormitory, shops, and waste produced by contractors coming on-site to perform a service.
  • Final disposal means the final step to manage or remove your waste. If a contractor is collecting your waste and selling it to another company, the final disposal will be the last company to handle your waste by recycling, incinerating, treating (physical or chemical treatment), or landfilling your waste. This can be controlled in the factory by checking the waste collection area or waste contractor’s site and confirming that sorting is well-managed
  • Non-hazardous waste please refer to the definition listed in the waste introduction section at the top of this section.
  • Hazardous waste: please refer to the definition listed mentioned in the waste introduction section at the top of this section. To identify the hazardous waste, you can check its characteristic, environment impact, usage, corrosivity, ignitability and reactivity, if it doesn’t belong to hazardous waste, it will be non-hazardous waste.
  • Reuse: Materials that are used in a function or application as a substitute for a new commercial material. Typically, this material is designed to be reused multiple times for the same purpose. This could also include checking, cleaning or repairing materials/components, so that they can be re-used without any other preprocessing whether for the original or other purposes. For example:
    • Chemical supplier can reuse the chemical container for filling them up with the same chemical (external reuse).
    • Fabric leftover can be reused in another factory (external reuse).
    • Rechargeable batteries can be reused many times (internal reuse). Wood pallet or cardboard can be reused for holding materials within the factory (internal reuse).
  • Recycle: Materials that are reprocessed from recovered material and made into a final product or into a component of a product. It does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operation.

Differences between recycled material and reused material:

  • Recycled material undergoes processing, or change in physical form, to be made into another component or product.
  • Reused material is used in its current form, multiple times, typically for the same purpose. For example:
  • Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products, sometimes completely different in form from their original state. For instance, this could mean melting down soft drink bottles and then casting them as plastic chairs and tables.
  • Plastic used for playground surfaces or traffic cones
  • Fabric scraps being reprocessed for padding/stuffing used for furniture, mattresses, blankets, toys
  • Incinerated with energy recovery: The process of generating energy in the form of electricity or heat from the incineration of waste. Thermal technologies include incineration, gas plasma, pyrolysis or any other process in excess of 150 °C (please refer to UL2799 standard: https://standardscatalog.ul.com/standards/en/standard_2799_3). This operation is only accepted by an approved and permitted incineration plant by the local government or by a permitted incineration plant.
  • Biological treatment: usually used for food waste disposal. The common treatments are Anaerobic digestion, biofuel and composting. Anaerobic digestion is a biological process where bacteria decompose organic matter in the absence of oxygen. The bacteria produce biogas that can be used to generate energy. The effluent remaining after controlled anaerobic decomposition is low in odor and rich in nutrients. Biofuel is derived from biological materials and can be used as an alternative fuel or as an additive to reduce vehicle emissions. Composting is the biological process of breaking organic waste into a useful substance by various microorganisms in the presence of oxygen. Composting also includes converting organic waste into industrial and manufactured products such as fertilizer, tallow and industrial chemicals.
  • Incineration: materials that are collected and managed through an incineration process that meets local and international standards.
  • Landfill: materials that are collected and managed through a landfilling process that meets local and international standards.
  • Mandated waste material should not be included in the non-hazardous waste stream, as these types of waste are not generated from a “business as usual” situation, such as:
    • Medical waste
    • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
    • Lead Paint
    • Asbestos
    • Other waste mandated by local regulation
    • Major construction and demolition projects waste (C & D waste)
    • Waste from nature disaster such as flood, fire, tornado, hurricane.

 Accepted estimation for non-hazardous waste quantity calculation: In some cases, calculating waste quantity requires estimation. Estimation requires special documentation:

  • Formulas and methods
  • Date you calculated the estimate
  • Frequency of updates to formulas 

Example: Your facility generates waste in barrels which are sealed when full and sent weekly for processing. Weighing every barrel is not possible.

 

e.g., domestic waste (food waste and sanitary waste).

Method: For food waste or sanitary waste, weigh a random bucket or bag 3 times a month and calculate the average weight per bucket or bag. Then accumulate the total weight based on the number of buckets or bags at the end of each month. Please note that the waste volume for each bucket or bag should be similar

How this will be verified:

Full points

  • Documentation required
    • List of ALL non-hazardous waste produced by the facility
      • Production Waste
      • Packaging waste
      • Domestic Waste
    • Method of tracking the quantity and measurement method for ALL non-hazardous waste
    • Records for tracking both the quantity and type of disposal (including disposal destination) of ALL non-hazardous waste (e.g. invoices from waste contractors)
  • Interview discussion
    • Management can describe the major sources of non-hazardous waste and describe their fate (where they are disposed of)
    • Review the procedures in place for tracking non-hazardous waste, including tracking the waste collection process, quantity measurement and type of disposal.
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Sources of non-hazardous waste production
    • Equipment for waste quantity measurement
    • Collection sites for waste disposal
    • Waste handling contractors site for waste disposal 

Partial points:

  • Same requirements as for "yes" above for at least one non-hazardous waste source at the facility. This must be tracked in full. This means that at least one (but not all) of the sources listed in the Level 1 table have complete answers in all columns and there is evidence to support all of the answers.

2. Which hazardous waste streams does your site produce? Select all that apply:

Production Waste:

  • Empty chemical drums and containers
  • Film and Printing Frame
  • Wastewater treatment sludge (industrial)
  • Expired / unused / used chemicals (waste oil, solvents, reactants, etc.…)
  • Compressed Gas Cylinders (refrigerants, etc.)
  • Contaminated materials (please specify)
  • Other (please specify)

Domestic Waste:

  • Batteries
  • Fluorescent light bulb
  • Ink cartridges
  • Waste oil and grease (from cooking)
  • Empty containers (cleaning, sanitizing, pesticides, etc...)
  • Electronic Waste
  • Coal combustion residuals (fly ash and bottom ash/coal slag)
  • Wastewater treatment sludge (household)
  • Other (please specify)

Suggested Upload: Hazardous waste manifests and/or copies of permits for handling hazardous waste

You will receive full points if you are completely tracking all hazardous waste sources AND are disposing of hazardous wastes through a licensed and permitted hazardous waste contractor. Please refer to the guidance below for information on reporting on drums or barrels.

You will receive partial points if you are completely tracking at least one of your hazardous waste sources, but are not yet tracking all of your sources.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is to build awareness of all hazardous waste types produced onsite and to track the volume of each waste type generated and the method of disposal. You must know your sources of waste before you can make strategic decisions on how to reduce and divert improve waste.

Technical Guidance:

Because of its hazardous characteristic, all hazardous waste must be well tracked and controlled to meet the local laws & regulations. To identify your hazardous waste, each country has its own National Hazardous Waste Inventory and National Hazardous Waste Identification Standard. Please refer to these standards and inventory.

Hazardous waste poses a greater risk to the environment and human health than non-hazardous waste, and thus requires a stricter management process. You must know your sources of waste before you can make strategic decisions on how to reduce and divert improve waste. It’s important to prioritize improvements for the waste sources that you produce the most of.

It is important to also specify how each waste stream is being disposed of in order to meet the local laws and regulations regarding hazardous waste and identify opportunities to improve the disposal methods (e.g., reduce, recycle and incineration with energy recovery) 

It is advisable for your factory to regularly check that hazardous wastes is being properly handled and are treated/ disposed of at the approved intended facility. An example of contaminated materials can be a piece of cotton or nylon used to clean machines. The fabric is contaminated by hydraulic oil or lubricant oil or ink or chemical and need to be sent to hazardous waste. 

The classification into hazardous and non-hazardous waste may differ from one country legislation to another that may define which ‘waste’ are categorized as hazardous differently. The facility should follow the legal waste requirements. If legal requirements are not available, select more stringent industry guidelines.

Note on Drums / Barrels: If you have disposed of empty drums, please enter the total weight of all drums in kilograms or metric tons. For example, if you disposed of 25 empty steel drums that weighed 20 kilograms each, please choose “Empty containers” and enter 500 kilograms (25 drums x 20 kgs = 500 kgs total). If you select the “drums” option, we will assume a weight of 16 kgs per drum in your final calculation (an average weight of standard steel and plastic drums). This option should only be selected when actual weight is not known. In order to calculate the most accurate results, we suggest you enter the actual weight in kilograms and only choose generic “drums” if you are unable to weigh your barrel or drum. 

If you have disposed of full drums that contain liquid waste, please enter the volume of the drum (cubic feet, cubic yard, gallons, meters) or the total weight (kg or metric tons).

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • List of ALL hazardous waste produced by the facility
      • Production Waste
      • Packaging waste (e.g. chemical drums and containers)
      • Domestic Waste
    • Method of tracking the quantity and measurement method for ALL hazardous waste.
    • Records for tracking both the quantity and type of disposal (including disposal destination) of ALL hazardous waste (e.g. invoices from waste contractors)
    • Permits for hazardous waste handling (if applicable)
  • Interview discussion
    • Management can describe the major sources of hazardous waste and describe their fate (where they are disposed of)
    • Review the procedures in place for tracking hazardous waste including tracking the waste collection process, quantity measurement, and type of disposal.
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Sources of hazardous waste production
    • Equipment for waste quantity measurement
    • Collection sites for waste disposal
    • Waste handling contractor’s site used for waste disposal

3. Does your facility segregate all waste streams into non-hazardous and hazardous waste, and store them separately?

Suggested Upload: Photos of segregated storage sites

Answer Yes if you segregate hazardous and non-hazardous waste for appropriate management.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is for your facility to segregate hazardous and non-hazardous waste for appropriate management.

This question is important because your facility needs to manage and dispose of hazardous and non-hazardous waste differently. Segregating hazardous and non-hazardous waste can prevent unwanted reactions between the waste streams, reduce pollution and harm to environment and people, help reduce cost (mixing waste can increase the volume of waste classified as hazardous which is more expensive to dispose of), and prevent unwanted exposure for personnel (source: GSCP).

Technical Guidance:

The first step is to make sure that legal requirements in relation to waste generation, collection and segregation, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal are met. There should be procedures for the management (including collection, segregation, storage and transportation)  of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The facility should provide sufficient working instruction or standard operating procedures and signs for handling and segregating non-hazardous waste. This can be a training, awareness campaigns, posters, working instructions, signs directing where to put which waste, etc. Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be provided to employees when handling waste. Instruction should be provided to:

  • Personnel responsible of handling and segregating non-hazardous waste
  • To anyone that can produce non-hazardous and has to collect and segregate in the right garbage bin (e.g., all workers at the canteen, production floor, dorm, etc.) 

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Documentation for the working instructions or operating procedures of collecting generated waste, segregating waste streams (hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste), storing and transporting hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste.
    • Training materials and record for waste management and handling training
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Key Employees discussion:
      • Key Employees are trained to collect, segregate and store wastes
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Location of segregated waste area as collection points around the factory and clear instruction or signs at the collection point to physically segregate both hazardous and non-hazardous waste
      • On-site evidence to support an established procedure for separating waste, e.g., the related standard procedures are posted in the workshops.
      • Collection sites for waste disposal -- are they clearly segregated, marked, and controlled as required by the danger imposed by the contents?

4. Does your facility have well-marked, designated hazardous waste storage areas?

Suggested Upload: Photos of segregated storage sites

The hazardous waste storage area is ventilated, dry and protected from the weather, and fire risk.

The hazardous waste storage area is protected from unauthorized employees (i.e. locked).

The hazardous waste storage area is clearly marked.

Storage containers are in good condition, appropriate for their contents, closed and clearly labeled with their contents.

Where liquid wastes are stored, the floor is solid and non-porous, containers have lids, there are no water drains that the liquid could spill into, and there is no evidence of spilled liquid.

Flammable substances are kept away from sources of heat or ignition, including the use of grounding and explosion-proof lighting.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is to ensure proper storage of hazardous waste containers in all parts of your facility.

Hazardous waste poses a greater risk to the environment and human health than non-hazardous waste, and thus require stricter management process. It’s important to segregate hazardous waste and secure storage areas and containers to eliminate risk to workers and the environment. 

Technical Guidance:

The facility should have a dedicated location for the hazardous waste storage. The storage area should have the following features:

  • The location should be further from people, fire source and high traffic flow area.
  • Store corrosives, flammables and explosives in dry, cool areas, out of direct sunlight and away from steam pipes, boilers or other sources of heat. Follow the chemical manufacturer’s or supplier’s recommendations for storage temperature.
  • Proper roofing and flooring to prevent rainwater from seeping through waste and to prevent any leakage to infiltrate to the ground and ground-water.
  • Spill containment available and workers trained to use it in case of leakage.
  • Firefighting equipment if oxidizers, explosives, flammable or gasses under pressure wastes are stored in the area.
  • Sufficient ventilation. Well-designed and well-maintained ventilation systems remove corrosive, flammable and toxic vapors, fumes, mists or airborne dusts from the workplace and reduce their hazards. Some places may need a complete system of hoods and ducts to provide acceptable ventilation. Others may require a single, well-placed exhaust fan. Use corrosion-resistant construction in ventilation systems for corrosive materials. No special ventilation system may be needed when working with small amounts of corrosives which do not give off airborne contaminants.
  • Locked and secured at all times. Only authorized person is allowed to enter.
  • Provide appropriate warning signage at the entrance.
  • Display the personal protective equipment (PPE) list that is needed for entering the area.
  • Provide the PPE needed for entering the area.
  • Display the simplified Safety Data Sheet.
  • Segregate accordingly to the chemical compatibility matrix.
  • Wrong segregation may lead to incompatible wastes reacting together to create fires, explosions or to release toxic gas.
  • Hazardous waste is stored in containers compatible to their contents, such as discarded chemicals. The choice of materials such as steel, aluminum, fiber, plastic, etc.… need to be linked to the product it will contain. Make sure the waste is not going to react with the container itself. Some waste is highly corrosive, which may cause a reaction with a metal container, possibly causing the container to fail. Plastic or plastic-lined containers are good solutions for corrosive wastes. Steel containers are a good choice for non-corrosive and flammable liquids.
  • Waste containers should be closed or made secure when not in use; open-topped skips should be covered securely.
  • All containers and receptacles should be clearly labelled with their contents and hazard characteristics.
  • Waste containers are in good condition.
  • A good housekeeping to be maintained for preventing the area to become breeding ground for rodents and insects.
  • Regular inspections of on-site waste storage areas should be undertaken at a frequency in proportion to the risk and maintain the above requirement at all time.
  • The status of all hazardous waste in the storage area must be well recorded with the name of each hazardous waste, source, quantity, characteristic, waste container type, waste-in date, storage location, waste-out date, and waste received department.

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Procedures for ensuring hazardous waste storage and status in the storage area records are always kept compliant with the above technical guidance. 
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management understands the dangers of hazardous waste and the importance of preventing contamination
    • Key employees are trained on how to prevent contamination in hazardous storage area
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Wastes are being stored in a specific location and all the above requirements are fulfilled. (refer to Technical Guidance) 

5. Does your facility have well-marked, designated non-hazardous waste storage areas?

Suggested Upload: Photos of segregated storage sites

The non-hazardous waste storage area is ventilated, dry and protected from the weather, and fire risk.

The non-hazardous waste storage area is clearly marked

Storage containers are in good condition, appropriate for their contents, closed and clearly labeled with their contents.

Flammable substances are kept away from sources of heat or ignition, including the use of grounding and explosion-proof lighting.

What is the intent of the question?

This intent is to ensure proper storage of non-hazardous waste in all parts of your facility. 

Non-hazardous wastes can pose contamination risks (e.g., pollution, waste being dispersed by the wind, food waste leachate) and risks to workers (e.g., fire, sharp objects)

Waste shouldn’t be kept too long and in too much quantity as leachate can happen (especially for food waste or coating on metals or other type of materials that contain hazardous substances). Any site where waste is concentrated and stored even for a short period of time may be a potential point source of ground and groundwater contamination.

Technical Guidance:

A storage area should be available to contain the sorted waste while waiting for the contractor to collect for disposal. General requirement of a non-hazardous waste storage area should include:

  • Location: Further from people, fire source.
  • Proper roofing and flooring and walls: Prevent rainwater from seeping through waste and generate leachate to the ground and ground-water. Protect the floor with impervious (meaning that the material used to cover the floor will not allow any liquid to infiltrate / get through) surfaces to avoid any contamination of the ground from waste leachate or coating substances on non-hazardous waste (printing materials, paintings, etc.…) and avoid spreading
  • Housekeeping: A good housekeeping to be maintained for preventing the area to become breeding ground for rodents and insects.
  • Firefighting equipment if flammable wastes are stored in the area (e.g., paper, cardboard, etc.…)
  • Provide appropriate warning signage at the entrance and inside the storage area such as "no smoking" signs, “no food”, name and location of where to store the different types of recyclables. All signs should be in a visible location and in a language(s) that can be understood by workers handling waste.
  • Display and provide the PPE list that is needed for entering the area if any risks (gloves for sharp waste, mask for dusty waste…).
  • Regular inspections of on-site waste storage areas should be undertaken by the waste engineer at a frequency in proportion to the risk and inspections record should be kept.
  • The status of non-hazardous waste in the storage area must be well recorded with the name of each non-hazardous waste, source, quantity, waste-in date, storage location, waste-out date, and waste received department. 

Leachate is the liquid (e.g., rain) that drains or ‘leaches’ (e.g., water contained in food waste) from waste when water percolates through any waste. It varies widely in composition regarding the age of the waste and the type of waste. It usually contains both dissolved and suspended material.

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Procedures for ensuring non-hazardous waste storage does not become contaminated.
    • Records for the non-hazardous waste status in the storage area.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management understands the dangers of non-hazardous waste and the importance of preventing contamination
    • Key employees are trained on how to prevent contamination in non-hazardous storage area
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Wastes are being stored in a specific location and all the above requirements are fulfilled. (refer to Technical Guidance) 

6. Does your facility forbid open burning and dumping on-site?

Open burning is forbidden

  • If open burning is not forbidden, please describe the technology used and how you control air emissions

 Open dumping is forbidden

  • If open dumping is not forbidden, please describe the technology used and how you control air emissions

What is the intent of the question?

On-site open burning or landfilling of waste can cause contamination in the soil and groundwater, air pollution from smoke emissions and gas generation, and health hazards (GSCP). The intent is to drive you to eliminate all open burning and on-site dumping at your facility

How does this question help a facility drive improvement?

Any unauthorized burning and dumping of waste in the premise of your factory site should be forbidden as air emissions will not be controlled, collected and treated. All waste gasses should be released through a chimney, stack, or vent so emissions can be controlled and a filter can be applied to capture pollution in some case.

Technical Guidance:

Burning and dumping waste on facility premises (inside or outside) with no air emissions control equipment and without special authorization from your environmental legal agency should be forbidden. If you do incinerate on-site, please explain the technology, the approval process, and how you control air emissions in the comment field provided. Any uncontrolled waste landfilling (i.e. landfilling without the appropriate license/ permit) should be forbidden. All your hazardous waste should be passed on to a licensed and permitted handler (Certified legal contractor) and solid waste should be managed by a qualified third-party vendor that will treat the waste minimizing and controlling all health and environmental impact. Final disposal and treatment shouldn’t be handled on-site (in the factory premise) by the factory employees.

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Policy for forbidding burning and dumping onsite
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management and Key employees are made aware of no burning onsite policy
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Uncontrolled burning or uncontrolled landfilling activities on-site 

7. Does your site provide training to all employees whose work involves hazardous waste handling (such as maintenance and custodial staff)?

If yes, please select all topics included in your training:

  • Proper handling
  • Storage and disposal techniques and procedures
  • Specific operational procedures for waste minimization
  • Use of personal protective equipment
  • Other, please specify

Suggested Upload: List of trained individuals, training materials (including calendar), certifications

You will be awarded full points if all topics were included in your training.

If some, but not all, topics were included you will be awarded partial points 

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is for you to educate all necessary workers on appropriate waste handling procedures.

Technical Guidance:

Factory is advised to include the following important elements in the training:

  • Proper handling
  • An overview of legal requirements and the environmental consequences of poor waste handling and management.
  • How to identify, segregate,collect and transport hazardous waste
  • How to track and weigh the quantity of hazardous waste
  • Awareness on hazardous waste accident prevention policy, emergency preparedness and response procedure management
  • Storage and disposal techniques and procedures
  • An overview of positive environmental benefits of waste segregation including quality control and ensuring highest value recycling options.
  • Personal protective equipment distribution and usage management.
  • Introduction on the use of proper tools and protective equipment when handling waste.

In addition to training, factory should provide sufficient working instruction and signs for handling, segregating and transporting non-hazardous waste.

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Training documentation including ALL of the below:
      • Proper handling
      • The procedures for identifying, segregating, collecting and transporting hazardous waste.
      • The procedures of tracking and weighing the quantity of hazardous waste.
      • Storage and disposal techniques and procedures
      • Specific operational procedures for waste minimization
      • Personal protective equipment distribution and usage management
    • Interview questions to ask
      • Key employees have undergone hazardous waste handling training.
      • Employees understand the risks of not following the safety procedures
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Training documents
      • Training sign in sheets
      • Training testing results documents
      • Pictures of Training event 

Partial Yes:  Partial credit if all the preventive measure to fully control any contamination (air, soil and underground…) are not fully in place and controlled yet

  • Documentation required
    • Training documentation including some of the below:
      • Proper handling
      • The procedures for identifying, segregating, collecting and transporting hazardous waste.
      • The procedures of tracking and weighing the quantity of hazardous waste.
      • Storage and disposal techniques and procedures
      • Specific operational procedures for waste minimization
      • Personal protective equipment distribution and usage management
    • Interview questions to ask
      • Key employees have undergone hazardous waste handling training.
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Training documents
      • Training sign in sheets
      • Training result testing documents
      • Pictures of Training event

 

Waste - Level 2

8. Has your facility set a baseline for solid waste?

 If yes, select all sources of waste for which your facility has set a baseline

  • Source of Waste
  • Is the baseline absolute or normalized?
  • What is the baseline quantity?
  • Quantity
  • Unit of Measure
  • Enter the baseline year
  • How was your baseline calculated?
  • Was the baseline verified?

In order to demonstrate improvements or reductions of waste sources, it’s important to know what your starting point is. A “baseline” is a starting point or benchmark that you can use to compare your reductions over time. For example, if your factory generated 15 kgs of domestic waste per product in 2016, you will be able to compare your performance against this amount in years to come. In this example, “15 kgs of domestic waste per product in 2016” is an example of a normalized baseline. Please note that you may need to set separate baselines for total amount of waste generated.

What is the intent of the question?

In order to demonstrate improvements or reductions of waste sources, it’s important to know what your starting point is. By selecting a base year and calculating the waste performance of that year (i.e., baseline), you can have a clear reference point for you to benchmark ongoing performance and compare it against your targets. 

Technical guidance:

A waste baseline should be set with accurate data. The quantity of each waste source should be measured and the baseline calculation process should be well recorded. To calculate the baseline, you can average the waste volume in the last calendar year for each waste source, including your facility’s peak and low operating seasons. From this you may establish an absolute or normalized baseline. Data validation is very important for this step. The data needs to be stable before setting the baseline. A viable baseline is developed: please refer to the guidance for question 2 in energy section and water section respectively regarding baseline setting.

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Documentation of each waste source’s baseline and baseline setting process as well as the related data tracking regarding baseline setting
    • Baseline communicated to the relevant employees and linked to the major impact source as identified in Level 1.
    • Ability to demonstrate how baseline data was validated (e.g., used Higg 3.0 verified data, used internal validation process)
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management should be able to describe how each waste source’s baseline is
  • Inspection – things to physically look for
    • Waste generation points
    • Waste storage areas
    • Waste weighing area

 9. Did you set a baseline for waste disposal methods for your facility's overall waste?

If yes, indicate which methods:

  • Disposal method
  • What is the baseline quantity? (%)
  • Enter the baseline year
  • How was your baseline calculated?
  • Was the baseline verified?

In order to demonstrate improvements in waste disposal methods, it’s important to know what your starting point is. A “baseline” is a starting point or benchmark that you can use to compare yourself against over time. For example, if your factory recycled   15 kgs of domestic waste per product in 2016, you will be able to compare your performance against this amount in years to come. In this example, “15 kgs of recycled domestic waste per product in 2016” is an example of a normalized baseline.  

What is the intent of the question?

In order to demonstrate improvements in waste disposal methods, it’s important to know what your starting point is. By selecting a base year and calculating the waste disposal performance of that year (i.e., baseline), you can have a clear reference point for you to benchmark ongoing performance and compare it against your targets. 

Technical guidance:

Waste disposal data baseline should be set with accurate data. The quantity (%) of each waste disposal method should be measured and the baseline calculation process should be well recorded. To calculate the baseline, you may average out the percentages of each waste disposal method used in the last calendar year, including facility operation peak and low seasons. Data validation is very important for this step. The data needs to be stable before setting the baseline. A viable baseline is developed: please refer to the guidance for the #2 question in energy section and water section respectively regarding baseline setting.

 How this will be verified:

Yes:

  • Documentation required
    • Documentation of each the waste disposal’s baseline and baseline setting process as well as the related data tracking regarding baseline setting
    • Baseline communicated to the relevant employees and linked to the major impact source as identified in Level 1.
    • Ability to demonstrate how baseline data was validated (e.g., used Higg 3.0 verified data, used internal validation process)
    • Waste handlers’ contract. The records of waste disposal data and process explanation.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management should be able to describe how each waste disposal baseline is set.
    • Waste handling contractors should be able to track and record the waste disposal data and process for the facility to set up the waste disposal baseline.
  • Inspection – things to physically look for
    • Waste disposal methods at the facility and waste handling contractor’s site. 

 10. Does your facility set formal targets to reduce waste quantity?

Select all sources of waste for which your facility has set a quantity or improvement target.

  •  What is your target change for waste generated from this source?
  • What is the target year?
  •   Describe the measures planned to achieve this target

 You will receive full points if you set targets for waste quantity that make up 80% or more of your total waste generated.

You will receive partial points if you set targets for waste quantities that make up 50-79% or more of your total waste generated. This is to reward you for aiming to reduce your greatest sources of waste generation which will maximize environmental impact.

Please Note: Full or partial points are automatically calculated based on which sources you select and report having an improvement target for.

Make sure to enter a negative percentage for a reduction target, and a positive percentage for an increased usage target.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is for you to set up at least one waste reduction target for your facility.

A waste inventory facilitates creation of waste management strategies and also highlight areas with opportunity for improvement. Unlocking the potential benefit is supported by creating a target based on a baseline metric.

We recommend that you set normalized targets such as “reduce hazardous waste generated per product by 80% by 2020”. This is because normalized metrics show real improvement rather than reductions from business changes such as reduced production. For example, if your baseline was “15 kgs of hazardous waste per product in 2016” then a good normalized target might be: “Reduce hazardous waste generated by 80% per product by 2020”.

Please note that you may need to set separate targets for total amount of waste generated and disposal method. This target focuses on waste generated. 

Overall, a target defines the point of success for employee efforts to realize efficiency gains and environmental impact reductions.  Targets can be long-term or short-term (short term=less than 3 years, long term=more than 3 years). Once set, progress should be reviewed at least quarterly to ensure adjustments are made as needed to stay on track to realize success.   

Technical Guidance:

An example of a normalized target is kilograms of waste produced for the production of one kilogram of sellable product (kg/kg).

  • First, understand what a target is: A formal target here refers to a quantified performance requirement of the site’s annual production of a particular waste source. A formal target must:
  • include a definite start date (i.e., "baseline") of target, the measurement unit, and the normalized baseline consumption (i.e. 1800 kg/year at 2010 baseline)
  • include an end date of the target, meaning the intended completion of the required reductions; and
  • the measurement unit
    • the baseline consumption (i.e. 2000kg at 2010 baseline)
    • include an exact reduction quantity, expressed as a number (e.g. reduce by 500kg) or a percentage (e.g. reduce by 5%).
    • be relevant to reducing the site’s waste (e.g. focuses on the most significant waste reduction at the site)
  • Second, enter your factory’s targets. For each target, state the following. For example:
    • Select source targeted to be improved: Glass
    • M3 (auto populate from total above)
    • Action Taken: Eliminate or reduce waste generation at the source; Reuse waste within the facility (without any modification of the waste) (e.g., reuse a water bottle to refill with drinking water); Seek durable material instead of one-time use materials (use cloth packing belt instead of using one-time use packing film) ; Use another treatment that have lower impact on the environment (e.g., energy recovery); Reduce food waste (e.g., empty plate reward in the canteen).
    • What is your target change for waste generated from this source?: -10%
    • Normalized or Absolute Target?
    • What is the target year? 2020
    • Proposed kg reduction: This is the metric for your target
    • Describe the measures planned to achieve this target: Improve waste segregation in order to recover useful waste from landfill; appoint new waste management contractor which can recycle waste which was not previously collected.

Management review of the waste reduction and improvement targets, including review of performance against waste reduction targets and recycling performance, has to be conducted at least quarterly to drive continuous improvement.

How this will be verified:

Full points

  • Documentation required
    • Waste reduction target describing how the waste reduction target was set and strategies/ Waste management plan.
    • Full points if the facility set targets for waste streams that make up 80% or more of their total waste generated.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management facilitates annual reviews of waste reduction targets
    • Briefly describe the plan or strategies for waste reduction, state:
      • Department/ person responsible for the plan
      • Timeframe of the plan
      • Year that the plan was implemented
      • Waste reduction progress tracking
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Evidences supporting waste reduction target strategies 

Partial Yes

  • Waste reduction target and strategies/ Waste management plan in progress of being finalized
  • Partial points if facility sets targets for waste sources that make up 50-79% or more of their total waste generated.
  • Management facilitates annual reviews of waste reduction targets
  • Evidence supporting waste reduction target strategies is in progress

 11. Did you set a target for improving waste disposal methods for your facility's overall waste?

If yes, indicate which methods.

  • Waste disposal method
  • What is your target change for this method of disposal?
  • What is the target year?
  • Describe the measures planned to achieve this target

Please note that you need to set separate targets for total amount of waste generated and disposal method. These targets are focused on disposal methods. 

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is to start setting waste disposal method improvement targets for your facility. A waste inventory facilitates creation of waste management strategies and also highlight areas with opportunity for improvement. Unlocking the potential benefit is supported by creating a target based on a baseline metric. 

For Higg FEM, reduction targets may be normalized to the production volume metric (selected in Site Info section: Production volume unit). This ensures progress is real versus a result of business changes such as a reduction in production leading to waste improvement.  An example of a normalized target might be “increasing waste recycling by 5% per product by 2018". 

Technical Guidance:

The disposal of waste should be considered to be an act of last resort and that, in priority order, alternatives such as avoiding the creation or minimizing the generation of wastes and divert waste through optimized alternatives such as re-using or recycling waste. Waste should be considered when planning work or projects. Minimizing the environmental impact of your waste means that your facility is putting efforts in place to produce less waste or select a preferred disposal method that reduces environmental impact based on the hierarchy below:

  • Reduction
  • Reuse
  • Recycled
  • Biological treatment
  • Incinerated with energy recovery
  • Incinerated (without energy recovery)
  • Landfilled 

Examples of improvements to disposal methods include:

  • Eliminate or reduce waste generation at the source (Reduce hazardous waste and sanitary waste since these types of waste areis not easy to look for external recycling solutions, dry wastewater sludge to reduce the water content rate and total weight);
  • Increase reuse materials to reduce waste generation (reuse materials and recycle waste within the facility to eliminate waste generation at the source, increase external reuse waste like reuse empty chemical containers with chemical suppliers to eliminate hazardous waste generation) (without any modification of the waste);
  • Increase quantity of waste sent to external recycling contractors and biological treatment (such as non-hazardous production waste recycling and food waste biological treatment, it will help to divert waste from landfill or incineration without energy recovery);
  • Use another treatment that has lower impact on the environment (e.g., incineration with energy recovery for hazardous waste and sanitary waste.)

Wastewater sludge needs to be identified by a qualified and approved 3rd party agent if it belongs to hazardous waste. If the wastewater sludge is identified as hazardous waste, it should be sent to the permitted and approved hazardous waste handlers for treatment and disposal. More and more factories are looking for innovations and new technologies to improve their internal wastewater treatment system so that minimize or eliminate hazardous waste generation. More and more hazardous waste handlers are also working on developing the new technologies to seek recycling opportunities or increase recycling rate for hazardous waste under the condition of complying with the related regulations, such as extract medal from the hazardous sludge.  

If the wastewater sludge is identified as non-hazardous waste, it should be sent to a qualified non-hazardous waste handlers for treatment and seek recycling opportunities as well under the condition of complying the related regulations, such as using sludge to make fertilizer (need to meet local legal requirements on fertilizer processing manufacturing) or construction materials. 

Overall, a target defines the point of success for employee efforts to realize efficiency gains and environmental impact reductions.  Targets can be long-term or short-term (short term=less than 35 years, long term=more than 35 years). Once set, progress should be reviewed at least quarterly to ensure adjustments are made as needed to stay on track to realize success.   

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Waste diversion improvement target and strategies/Waste management plan
    • Full points if the facility set disposal method targets for waste streams that make up 80% or more of their total waste generated.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management facilitates annual reviews of waste diversion improvement targets
    • Briefly describe the plan or strategies for waste diversion improvement, state:
      • Department/ person responsible for the plan
      • Timeframe of the plan
      • Year that the plan was implemented
      • Waste diversion improvement progress tracking
    • Inspection - things to physically look for
      • Evidences supporting waste diversion improvement target strategies 

12. Does your facility have an implementation plan to reduce waste quantity or improve type of treatment?

Upload a copy of the plan.

  • This should be a waste reduction plan showing specific actions designed to achieve targeted reductions in waste consumption

 Answer Yes if you have an implementation plan in place that demonstrates you are taking action to achieve your targeted reductions or improvements.

Answer Partial Yes if you have a plan but have not started on all action items.

You may download a sample implementation plan here

NOTE: This is NOT scoring the actual % of improvement because a facility may be working on the last 5-10% of waste management opportunities which is hard to make up. We don't want to falsely reward beginners and give fewer points to leaders.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is for your facility to create an action plan for improving waste management (amount or final disposal).

Target-setting is an important step in systematically managing waste, but your site must take action to make reductions. Having an implementation plan demonstrates the action you are taking to achieve your targeted reductions and waste diversions. Some facilities may have an implementation plan without having set targets.

Technical Guidance:

This is your opportunity to document all business processes for waste management projects happening at your facility.

Steps for action should include:

  1. Identification of waste improvement opportunities
  2. Evaluate waste management alternatives
  3. Prioritize the improvement items and with the progressive timelines
  4. Approve funds for chosen solution
  5. Implement the solution and document reductions
  6. Assign a team/staffs to track and monitor the progress
  7. Conduct regular review to check progress of improvement projects

How to create an implementation plan?

You will need management and waste handling contractor’s commitment, employee awareness, and participation to ensure improvement opportunities can be identified, solutions can be proposed, and changes can be made using capital or expense dollars if necessary to successfully implement proposed solutions. To effectively identify waste management opportunities, a waste minimization audit can be conducted. The audit typically provides a systematic assessment of waste generated on-site and identifies opportunities to reduce the environmental and cost impacts of the waste. Often this can involve third party consultation, literature and technology research, design firms, and pilot testing among many other potential paths toward implementation of solutions. 

All activity related to meeting targets should be part of an implementation plan to ensure organized and coordinated progress steps take place from the start and prioritize the improvement items with the progressive timelines. After creating this plan, an implementation team is suggested to be created to make ensure effective implementation. The assigned staff in this team should have clear roles & responsibilities. The implementation plan should be reviewed at least annually should at minimum include improvement project details, appropriate implementation timeline and responsible parties.

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Plan is in place for managing and implementing environmental performance improvements of waste management.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management has communicated plan for managing and implementing environmental performance improvements of waste management to key employees
    • Key employees understand the plan for managing and implementing environmental performance improvement of waste management
    • Waste handling contractors has been communicated the plan for managing and implementing environmental performance improvements of waste management.
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Plan for managing and implementing environmental performance improvements of waste management is readily available to employees
    • Evidences to support plan is being followed in facility and waste handling contractor site.

Partial Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Facility is in the process of creating a plan for managing and implementing environmental performance improvements of waste management.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management understand how to create and finalize their plan for managing and implementing environmental performance improvements of waste management
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Evidence to support the facility is in the progress of creating a plan for managing and implementing environmental performance improvements of waste management.
    • There are clear next steps outlines for completing the plan 

13. Has your facility reduced waste quantity or improve type of treatment, compared with the established baseline?

  • Select all sources of waste for which your facility made improvements.
  • Select baseline year
  • Describe the strategies used to achieve this improvement.

You will receive full points if you made reductions for waste sources that make up 80% or more of your total waste generated. 

You will receive partial points if you made reductions for waste sources that make up 50-79% or more of your total waste generated. This is to reward you for reducing your greatest sources of waste which will maximize environmental impact.

We recommend that you show normalized reductions such as “hazardous waste per product was reduced by 50% in 2017.” This is because normalized metrics show real improvement rather than reductions from business changes such as reduced production.

What is the intent of the question?

Sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement. Success is the result of extensive work involved in tracking, setting targets, and performing to implementation plans to meet targets. This question provides an opportunity to display improvements made in waste management in the most recent year. 

By tracking success over the previous year, a facility proves through results the commitment made towards sustainability. Maintaining continuous reductions and/or re-calculate of the baseline over time will provide a facility with effective reduction tracking. This is your opportunity to demonstrate impact reduction from your hard work to track, set targets and create an action plan. Use this question to share what you have accomplished!

Technical Guidance:

You should be able to demonstrate normalized waste reduction for at least one of the waste streams at your facility (e.g., general waste, discarded fabrics, waste from cutting, etc.). Facility construction and demolition (C&D) waste should not be included in the baseline and reduction performance. Also, the reductions are attributable to measures taken by the site.

If the reduction achieved is linked to the reduction of consumption in another section, you CANNOT get the points in the waste section. E.g., If you reduce the quantity of chemicals used in your process, automatically the quantity of empty chemical drums will reduce. In that case you will not get credit in the waste section. On the other hand, if you work with your suppliers to receive your chemical substance in tank instead of bottle, this will reduce the quantity of empty chemical containers, then you can score this reduction in the waste section.

How this will be verified:

Full points

  • Documentation required
    • Fill list of sources improved
    • % improvement achieved in the last calendar year - the detailed % improvement calculation process
    • A description of the plan/strategies used to achieve these improvements
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management understands the concept of sustainable waste disposal methods and whether current site waste generation is sustainable
    • Management is actively promoting or endorsing site implementation of leading practices in relation to, for example, minimizing virgin material use and waste generation and increasing the percentage of site waste materials that are diverted through optimized disposal methods like recycled and/or biological treatment and/or the incineration with energy recovery from waste
    • Management understand what recognized international standard practice is in relation to waste reduction/diversion improvement for their sector/geography and have set site targets that exceed those practices
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Process in the facility which have contributed to improvements made listed in strategies

Partial Points

  • Documentation required
    • List of most of the sources improved
    • % improvement achieved in the last calendar year
    • A description of the plan/strategies used to achieve these improvements
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management understands the concept of sustainable waste disposal methods and whether current site waste generation is sustainable
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Process in the facility which have contributed to improvements made listed in strategies 

14. Has your facility improved waste disposal methods for overall waste in 2017, compared with the baseline?

 If yes, indicate which methods.

  • Select baseline year

  • What was the percentage change?

  • Describe the strategies used to achieve this improvement

We recommend that you show normalized improvement such as “Recycling waste per product was increased by 50% in 2017.” This is because normalized metrics show real improvement rather than diversion from business changes such as increased production. 

What is the intent of the question?

Sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement. Success is the result of extensive work involved in tracking, setting targets, and performing to implementation plans to meet targets. This question provides an opportunity to display improvements made in waste management in the most recent year.  

By tracking success over the previous year, a facility proves through results the commitment made towards sustainability. Maintaining continuous diversion improvement and/or re-calculate of the baseline over time will provide a facility with effective improvement tracking. This is your opportunity to demonstrate impact improvement from your hard work to track, set targets and create an action plan. Use this question to share what you have accomplished! 

Technical Guidance:

You should be able to demonstrate normalized waste diversion improvement for at least one of the optimized waste disposal methods at your facility (e.g. reuse, recycle, biological treatment and incineration with energy recovery) and minimize the waste disposal method of uncontrolled incineration and landfill which have negative environmental impacts. The diversion increasing is attributable to measures taken by the site. 

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • List of waste disposal method improved
    • % improvement achieved in the last calendar year - the detailed % improvement calculation process
    • A description of the plan/strategies used to achieve these improvements
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management understands the concept of optimized waste disposal methods and whether the site waste diversion rate is increasing.
    • Management is actively promoting or endorsing site implementation of leading practices in relation to, for example, minimizing virgin material use and waste generation (like hazardous waste reduction, food waste and sanitary waste reduction) and increasing the percentage of site waste materials that are optimized alternatives like reused or recycled (non-hazardous production waste) or diverted through biological treatment (food waste) and/or the incineration with less than 10% of energy recovery from waste (sanitary waste).
    • Management understand what recognized international standard practice is in relation to optimized waste alternatives like waste reduction/reuse/recycling/biological treatment for their sector/geography and have set site targets that exceed those practices
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Process in the facility or waste handling contractors which have contributed to waste diversion improvements made listed in strategies

 

Waste - Level 3

15. Does your facility validate the final disposal and treatment of all hazardous wastes?

  • If yes, please upload the upload supporting documentation. Describe how you work with your facility’s waste contractors to ensure appropriate disposal during the waste treatment.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is to validate the final disposal and treatment of all hazardous waste. You should be able to describe how you engage with your waste contractors, including your workflow and process to ensure their environmental performance. 

Technical Guidance:

Hazardous waste poses serious risk to the environment when improperly treated and disposed of. It is considered leading practice for a facility to take extra steps to confirm that their waste contractors are properly transporting, storing, treating and disposing of hazardous wastes from your facility site. Facilities should screen, validate and check contractors every three years.

A facility should evaluate its waste contractors during the contractor selection process and conduct regular assessments of the waste contractors to ensure that they are operating in legal compliance and with the terms of the contract.

When evaluating waste management contractor, consider:

  • Waste contractor qualifications (such as business license, environment permits, reports) of the contractor.
  • Waste contractor due diligence and legal environment performance (any historic violations)
  • Their overall environmental performance
  • Cost viability of using the contractor’s services (GSCP) 

Conduct regular assessments after the contract is placed. Things to look for in your waste contractor:

  • Implement practices to transport waste in a way that is traceable, secure, and waste must remain segregated and properly labeled at all times
  • Have a facility with impermeable surfaces, proper security, and fire/flood protection
  • Not engage in illegal dumping or burning either on or off-site
  • Implement human health and safety practices such as providing employee access to personal protective equipment, training, and machine safety
  • If they use optimized waste disposal methods (such as recycling hazardous waste or incinerate hazardous waste with energy recovery) to reduce the impacts to environment. 

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Records of validating final disposal of ALL hazardous waste
    • Records for validating with contractors every 3 years
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management is able to explain how they work with contractors to ensure their environmental performance during the waste treatment
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Evidences to support facility has validated their waste contractors waste treatment in the past 3 years. 

16. Has your factory diverted at least 90 percent of all discarded materials from landfills, incinerators and the environment?

  • If yes, please upload the supporting documentation. Please describe how this is implemented.

Suggested Upload: Waste inventory and waste manifests showing >90% diversion from landfills/incinerators

Zero waste to landfill is defined as diverting 90% or more of all discarded materials away from landfills, incinerators and the environment (UL 2799 Zero Waste to Landfill)

Answer yes
If you can demonstrate that you divert 90% or more of all waste.

What is the intent of the question?

The intent is for your facility to divert all waste from landfill or incineration without energy recovery. Waste disposal is considered as the least economically favorable and environmentally beneficial waste management option. In order to qualify for this point the facility must divert at least 90% of all waste from landfill or incineration with energy recovery through optimized alternatives (reduction, reuse, recycling, biological treatment) , closed loop material take-back program, or incineration with controlled % energy recovery. 

Technical Guidance:

It is recognized that a mature industrial economy could not reach literal zero waste and there are different thresholds guiding zero waste. This question aspires the facility to attain leading practices in waste reduction by diverting 90 percent of all discarded materials from landfills, incinerators without energy recovery and the environment: a condition defined by Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) as “Zero Waste” (http://zwia.org/standards/zero-is-zero/)

A useful hierarchy for how to move closer to Zero Waste can be found here: http://zwia.org/standards/zero-waste-hierarchy/ 

UL 2799 standard (Zero Waste to Landfill) can be found here:

https://standardscatalog.ul.com/standards/en/standard_2799_3

 Achieving true “zero” waste is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Given that reality, the two most important aspect to demonstrate are:

  1. All viable and optimized waste diversion options are considered
  2. You have a process to examine remaining materials and use this information to refine your systems to rethink, redesign, reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to prevent further discards. If you can demonstrate proactive thought on remaining materials, this is satisfactory for “zero waste” at this point 

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Documentation of all waste streams and waste disposal paths.
    • Documentation of process to examine and prepare to divert any remaining wastes.
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management is aware and able to explain how to implement all optimized waste diversion options and how the remaining wastes are being considered for future diversion.
  • Inspection - things to physically look for
    • Evidences to support this plan.
    • Waste contractor site inspection
    • Remaining materials diversion equipment or site inspection 

17. Does your facility upcycle some of its waste or insert its waste into a circular economy system?

  • If yes, please describe how.

Suggested Upload: Pictures or process flows, showing type and amounts of waste that are recycled into products of the same or higher value

 What is the intent of the question?

The intent is to encourage the facility to upcycle or establish closed-loop systems, where previously discarded products circle back into the value chain in order to reduce, reuse and recycle waste generated at the facility.

Technical Guidance:

Upcycling is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value 

Recycling used garments and fabrics to manufacture new clothing, making fabric from used plastic bottles, and upcycling coal ash from the boiler room to make bricks are some examples of upcycling. A facility can engage its material suppliers, buyers and waste management contractors to find creative solutions to upcycle wastes.

A circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emissions, and energy leakages are minimized by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops; this can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling, and upcycling. This is in contrast to a linear economy which is a 'take, make, dispose' model of production. 

The four aspects of a closed-loop supply chain:

  • Source: Use recycled or renewable materials that are responsibly sourced.
  • Make efficiently: Design and manufacture products to minimize the use of materials.
  • Use for a long time: Design products to be durable, so they can have long lives.
  • Contribute: Replenish market supply with an amount of recycled, reclaimed, or renewable material at least equal to the amount used to make the product.

How this will be verified:

Yes

  • Documentation required
    • Records to indicate the facility upcycles some of its waste or inserts it back into circular economy
  • Interview questions to ask
    • Management is able to explain how facility upcycles some of its waste or inserts it back into circular economy
  • Inspection - things to physically look for

Evidences to support facility upcycles some of its waste or inserts it back into circular economy

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