Manufacturing produces the goods we need for our everyday life. It also produces large amounts of waste. The EPA reports more than 30% of the carbon footprint for the average American is a result of manufacturing.
Waste produced in the manufacturing industry presents a large burden and operational efficiencies are often sacrificed as a result. Manufacturing waste streams can vary widely from seasonal volume changes to the variety of materials that need to be processed. Poorly managed production waste can cost more money, harm employees, and lead to violations.
Here are three ways having a greater hand in your manufacturing waste and recycling management program reduces operational costs:
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1. Optimize equipment size and service
Ensuring your business has the right equipment and service schedule to fit your needs is a good first step in reducing operational costs related to waste. If your dumpster is too big and your service schedule is too frequent, your business ends up overpaying. It's an underutilized space that is not needed. If the space is too small, you face extra fees from vendors who may charge extra to haul away excess materials.
Optimized equipment and service schedules are necessary to keep costs in check while making sure your operations continue to run smoothly. Having the data on how much and what type of waste your business generates means you’ll be able to decide what size equipment and schedule is ideal for your operation.
Conduct a waste audit of your business. You’ll find out if your current manufacturing waste and recycling program works or needs tweaked for optimization. In fact, waste metering technology, like dumpster sensors and cameras, can help automate the waste auditing process. Third party comprehensive waste management service providers, like RoadRunner, can help analyze and implement the right waste program, often at lower prices than a business pays today.
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2. implement recycling: it's more affordable
The manufacturing industry produces large volumes of solid waste, including paper, cardboard, scrap metal, and plastics. Once you conduct your waste audit, and find out what types and volumes of waste you produce, your business can start exploring more affordable options. That’s when recycling manufacturing waste becomes a more attractive option than sending it straight to a landfill.
Recycling will generally be a more cost effective avenue for dealing with waste. Landfill tipping fees have steadily increased in recent years as a way for major waste haulers to offset inflationary costs. Recycling more material helps your business avoid or have reduced fees.
Some recycling programs can even result in money coming back to your business. For example, many companies utilize an on-site baler for cardboard and then seek out other businesses that will buy those bales. Cardboard is one of the most recyclable and in-demand materials, especially as feedstock to create new boxes or packaging.
One of the biggest challenges for manufacturing businesses is how to stay profitable against the competition. Recycling manufacturing waste helps keep costs in check.
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3. take advantage of tax incentives
Third, there are ways to utilize tax credits, offsets, and rebate programs related to manufacturing waste that result in a reduction of operational costs. The Inflation Reduction Act includes a credit for carbon capture usage and storage. Manufacturers can receive $85 per ton credit. The IRS includes credits for recycling programs. Businesses operating in states like Virginia can offset as much as 40% of tax liability for an entire year through purchasing recycling equipment. In North Carolina, manufacturing recycled products can yield sales tax exemptions.
Choosing to embrace better methods of managing manufacturing waste and recycling can mean money back in your pocket from local, state, and federal agencies.
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Fully-managed manufacturing waste solutions
Technology, data, and expertise are three things manufacturers rely on to ensure operational costs are kept in check. Those same things can be applied to waste and recycling management. Modern solutions to traditional waste management problems mean location-specific challenges can be overcome at scale. Waste metering technology ensures vendor oversight and improved reliability. Diversion programs cut greenhouse gas emissions. Data tracking improves efficiency and cuts production waste.
Manufacturers working with a trusted waste advisor, like RoadRunner, can achieve these realities.