Step #3: Complete Market Evaluation
Once the waste survey is completed, a market survey or economic analysis
needs to be accomplished. This economic analysis of each waste stream should
include best handling methods and the availability of regional markets. This
analysis allows the team to make intelligent choices in program start-up and
deployment of resources. The material markets section of the analysis should
include not only how the local recycling industry prefers the materials
packaged, but also an examination of the total costs (manpower, equipment,
transportation) necessary to meet this preference. The higher price obtained
for material packaged in the preferred method may not be sufficient to justify
the increased costs. The results of this evaluation will tell you what the
market value is for each quantity of waste generated.
This market evaluation will help you to determine what quantities of each
waste stream can be recycled:
- At a profit
- At a "wash" (save here but cost there)
- At a loss
Additional information on recycling, potential markets, and raw
material/supplies costs can be obtained from:
- The Environmental Protection Agency (federal or
- State solid waste or recycling agencies;
- Community colleges and universities;
- Local recycling organizations, state recycling
organizations, National Recycling Coalition;
- Industry associations;
- Yellow pages under recycling or waste paper;
- Local newspapers;
- Municipal solid waste programs;
- Waste haulers;
- Local paper, aluminum, or cardboard manufacturers;
- Other recyclers/generators in the area;
- Potential buyers of recycled material;
- Rockwell purchasing and internal stock room.
Potential buyers should be queried regarding shipping quantity
requirements, acceptable levels of contamination, average and seasonal prices,
pick-up and delivery requirements, and equipment availability such as, will
they provide a storage bin or trailer for hauling the material?
Examples of how these factors can affect the recycling program are:
- When a larger quantity of material is needed before
sale (i.e., paper, cardboard, plastic), you may opt for a crusher/bailer to
minimize storage requirements.
- Will the contractor pick up the materials or will
you need to transport as part of the sale?
- Do you or the contractor pay the freight costs?
Remember that your final decisions on support
equipment, collection containers, and storage requirements for recycling will
drive your facility square footage requirements.
"Now we're getting to the FUN part !!!" - You will need to quickly become an expert on all recycling options in order to derive a working solution that not only removes a great deal of materials from your facility's waste stream, but also doesn't create a burden on the facility's core business. Here is a great place to use outside resources to identify established programs. Ask for information identifying the methods used and outlets available for your specific waste streams. Investigate whether there are established Waste Exchange Programs in your state. A Waste Exchange Program matches waste products with potential end-users in a confidential manner. (Example: Your facility has a large volume of packaging peanuts and other packaging materials. The Waste Exchange lists companies who need packaging materials. This program is designed to match the two companies together.) This is also a great place to list some of the odd stuff you discovered in your waste audit. The Waste Exchange may know just the right company that is looking for Rockwell's "slightly used left-handed gonkulater by-pass valves."
Having your broker spot a trailer on-site in which to stack paper and cardboard bales saves labor, floor space, and scheduling time. Rather than having several separate bins for paper (white, colored, computer, junk mail, etc.), a single bin for mixed-color paper will generate less revenue but will remove more paper from your waste stream. Employee participation is higher, training is easier, and the time involved in recycling is less.
Other things to consider:
- The labor needed to move material from collection point to storage
- The method used for storing and transferring;
- The effort required to prepare material for shipment to off-site
broker (banding, bailing, transferring to larger shipping vessel,
- How quickly can material be removed from your facility if the
revenues for the material were increased/reduced? (Free up that floor
- The employee training needed versus the additional revenues for
specific commodities sorted;
- The material that can be collected for "waste-to-energy"
- The material that could have been captured and returned to the
Supply Room for reissue to the plant.