Adam Brindle, CEO and founder of Grounds Care Group, highlights the importance of waste management in creating a circular economy
Bulk waste management in a circular economy.
Where are we now?
Bulk waste, whether from offices, restaurants or building sites, is often dealt with in an inappropriate manner. The result is the amount of value extracted from these materials is not as high as it could be. Mixed or contaminated waste is harder to extract from, and requires more energy to recycle or reuse it.
Plastics and plastic waste are often the core focus of waste removal. 91% of plastic produced isn’t recyclable and it takes 400 years to degrade fully. Humans have produced more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic in the past 60 years, adding more every year.
Where do we go to next?
We need to learn from Australia’s waste management sector, which generated AUS$15.5 billion for the economy, including AUS$2.9 billion from the sale of recovered materials.
The benefit of a circular economy isn’t just about positive stakeholder opinions, it can have financial impacts too. As materials aren’t wasted as much, the material cost lowers at every stage and the end costs associated with production are lowered.
How do we get there?
Proper sorting, collection and management of waste is necessary to begin the circular economy process. Businesses that produce waste have a duty of care to ensure the waste ends up in the correct location, and that is handled in a correct and safe manner.
Following the correct duty of care has many positive impacts on companies and the wider society around them. For companies, creating a positive connection with sustainability goals and consumers has a noted positive impact for CSR goals.
Bulk waste management should consider multiple avenues. From the supplier you choose to the sorting of waste from your company, these can all help to achieve long term CSR goals.
Adam Brindle is CEO and founder of Grounds Care Group