24 Jun 2019
Taking care of business is also taking care of what you leave behind – waste. Industrial or factory waste is not only a tripping or vehicle hazard if left to clutter up passages but also a hazard to worker health, safety, and the greater environment. Taking a “she’ll be right” approach to waste management will lead to unforeseen – and sometimes lethal – consequences. We don’t have to tell you how disastrous that is for a business’ bottom line and reputation.
Here is a guide to some of the negative effects improper waste management can cause and how to avoid them.
Soil contaminationThe leading cause of soil contamination is the improper disposal of hazardous chemicals or non-disposal of waste articles such as the decay of plastics. Contaminated soil is the first step in the food cycle – when humans or animals eat food grown from contaminated soil, it can cause widespread health issues including reproductive impairment, liver problems, and cancer. Chemicals and liquid wastes should be contained and disposed of using proper means.
Watertable contaminationLiquid and solid wastes that enter surface water or the watertable (the uppermost zone of ground saturation) can lead to the spread of bacteria or an infusion with toxic chemicals. This can affect drinking water and bore water, the latter of which may be used on growing food. If wastes reach rivers or the open sea, it can also harm marine life and the marine ecosystem. Liquid wastes should always be kept separate from clean water.
LeachateLeachate is a liquid by-product of contaminated areas – be it from liquid, organic, or solid wastes. It can trickle into soil, surface water, or the water table. These are severely hazardous to plant, animal, and human life.
Air pollutionImproper waste management of bleach and acid waste can contaminate the air and make people or animals sick. Some types of papers and plastics are incinerated which can cause greenhouse gases to rise into the atmosphere and eat away at the ozone layer. It also causes respiratory disorders and skin irritations.
Economic impactPeople have a right to live in a clean and sanitary environment. A factory or warehouse with a poor waste management plan can adversely impact the surrounding environment which can cause tourists, would-be residents, and investors to look elsewhere. This can cause a depressed local economy and many adverse flow-on effects such as unemployment and crime.
Missing opportunities to recycle (and make money)
Businesses that don’t recycle their waste properly are missing out on opportunities for opening a new revenue stream. Many recycling centres or plants may re-use or recycle materials and pay businesses for unwanted or unused materials. Unused wood offcuts can be used as fuel; cracked or broken plastic shelving can be remoulded; tins and cans can be melted down and recast. It makes sense to have waste bins and containers to capture as much recyclables as possible to recapture some of your costs.
To help capture your waste properly, talk to the team at Backsafe Australia about our range of waste management bins and products. Call us on 1300 305 314 for more information.
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