Eco – Friendly Options for Manufacturing Waste Management

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on January 18, 2014

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

And today’s organisations seem to be taking this old adage pretty seriously by taking all possible steps to convert their trash into their own treasure. Every manufacturing process creates a useful product, from a nail to a car , but our production and consumption also lead to a lot of manufacturing waste. During production of such commodities, substances which exist in less quantity are used, it therefore becomes important that the companies manage joint resources in a long term manner to achieve sustainable cycles in society. The default disposition of these products needs to be converted into a value – add to the society and doing so can also lead to reduction in disposal fees of the same trash!! . This primarily means that we have to try to produce as little and as non‐hazardous waste as possible. Material recycling is prioritised over energy recycling for waste that nevertheless arises, where this is environmentally justified.

In the world of global warming and depleting resources, it becomes our duty to minimise and manage industrial waste in a environmentally sound way. One of the ways of maximising the benefits of available raw materials is using By – Product Synergy ( BPS ) where waste stream from one production process is used to make a new product. It has an enormous potential for reducing waste volumes and toxic emissions to air and water, as well as cutting operating costs. It is the principle which is based on the concept of 'industrial ecology' - a holistic view of industry in which organizations exchange energy and material between one another, rather than operating as isolated units. Industrial ecology promotes a shift away from traditional open, linear systems towards closed loops and inter-dependent relationships of the kind found in nature. The most common and first example is the field of agriculture. (A crude example here could be of chicken wings, when they were once considered waste but today, they are a delicacy!!). The best known demonstration of industrial ecology is in the Danish industrial town of Kalundborg. Two-year 'Industrial Ecosystem Development Project' in the US was another such initiative to identify potential by-product partnerships in an industrialized area. As a result of this exercise, potential partnerships were proposed and most were used and were beneficial for the involved parties. United States Business Council for Sustainable Development is a government initiative working specifically for this.

Image Courtesy:, hinnamsaisuy

Manufacturing waste management is all about reducing the impact of that waste on the environment. If we do not pay the attention on this important issue, it can be very hazardous to the human health as well as the environment. Hence, another sustainable and the most important way to treat manufacturing waste is Green Recycling.

It is a process that turns the wasted goods into useable material through a process that is environmentally friendly. Wasted materials are recycled into useable goods or raw material by recycling them. Some of the common recyclable materials are paper, plastic, glass, and metal. One of the key benefit of the green recycle process is, we can reduce the consumption of the natural resources without having a negative impact on the environment of our planet. In that way we are actually saving the resources for our future generations .When we use the green recycle process, we actually reduce the effect of greenhouse gases on the environment. Initially, organisations have to invest in green recycling facilities, but the enormous benefits that the companies as well as the environment can get from this activity, the cost is nothing. The CIWA is one of the leading waste management firm that provides cost effective green recycling solutions. The CIWA is developing the customized solution for every industry regarding how to manage their waste. The waste disposal solutions that are developed by the CIWA are according to the specific need of the business, local laws, and keeping in view the geographic location of the place where waste is manufactured. Most of the small and medium‐sized industries treat their own hazardous waste for example through physio‐chemical processes or the distillation of polluted solvents or by similar methods. It may also happen that small and medium‐sized industries treat hazardous waste from others if the waste that has arisen externally is of a type similar to their own. There are no general regulations or similar rules for this. Each facility must apply for its own permit for the activity, including waste treatment, under the Environmental Code.

Landfills is another way of handling this waste in a eco friendly manner. Items that cannot be recycled or are too expensive to be recycled are buried in the land. This is one of the most popular ways getting rid of the industrial waste that cannot be recycled as it is not only cost effective, but also environmentally friendly. However, one thing to be kept in mind is how well you have buried the waste in the land. Sometimes, when it is not done properly, the carbon di-oxide and other gases breaks down and causes several health issues in the humans and plants living in the surrounding areas.

In addition to the above, producers should have the responsibility for several products like packaging , waste papers, cars, tyres, The purpose of producer responsibility is to reduce the quantity of waste, increase recycling and achieve more environmentally sound product development. In addition to this there are what are known as voluntary commitments on producer responsibility in three product groups (office paper, agricultural plastic and building and demolition waste).

Discussion on Waste management cannot be complete without mentioning Sweden. There is a eco‐cycle strategy in Sweden linked to the Swedish environmental objectives. The strategy is aimed at bringing about a society with non‐toxic and resource‐ efficient cycles. Avfall Sverige is the Swedish Waste Management and Recycling association with 400 members from both the public and the private waste management teams. It is not a news to anyone that Sweden imports trash from other countries and recycles it and value addition is done at that level. Innumerable practices regarding waste management in Sweden has led to that nation reach such heights.

So, if all of us get together and work towards a cleaner tomorrow, we can have a clean tomorrow.

This article has been authored by Ruchira Shukul from IMI, New Delhi


  • HBR
  • Waste management – Sweden, National Report
  • Green Recycling
  • United States Business Council for Sustainable Development website

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