Step #4: Determine Required Resources
Once the waste survey has been completed, the team needs to determine what additional resources will be needed to support the program. These resources may include manpower, equipment, and facilities.
Manpower - In addition to the members of the
recycling team, don't forget that eventually every employee in the plant can
be used. Strong support and participation from the entire workforce will help
reduce the amount of additional manning needed to maintain the program.
Equipment - The team needs
to determine the best balance between labor costs and support equipment
efficiency. For example, if a large and inexpensive labor pool is available,
cheaper, more labor intensive equipment can be used. Conversely, in a tight
manpower situation, the purchase of more expensive but labor saving equipment
may be a better option.
The types, models, capabilities, and purposes of available recycling
equipment are numerous. Equipment is available to assist in collecting,
compacting, baling, shredding, sorting, and accomplishing other tasks
associated with processing material for recycling. Ease of use, simplicity,
cost, safety and effectiveness of the support equipment are important traits
to consider. When searching the market for equipment items that best fit your
requirements, contact different manufacturers to obtain names of companies,
municipalities, or other agencies that are using the equipment. Ask questions
to obtain their candid evaluation of the equipment, including operating costs.
Also contact recycling program managers of other industries in your area and
ask for their input. Don't forget that efficient transportation of the
materials, both inside the plant and eventually off-site, will be essential
for the overall success of the program.
Facilities - Facilities requirements for a
recycling center need not be complex. The overall size will be determined by
the characterization and quantities of solid waste materials to be recycled by
the site. Typically, the area consists of a material recovery facility (MRF),
otherwise known as a recycling center and a small office, if possible. Another
useful tool at the MRF is a network computer to be used to help manage the
program. The MRF should be large enough to house the material processing
equipment (balers for cardboard, paper, plastics, magnetic separator, metal
can "condenser," etc.) and allow for material handling equipment
maneuverability. The MRF should also provide some storage capability for
materials that are subject to weather damage.
Obtaining available floor space for the MRF and subsequent placement of
collection containers and recycling equipment in a facility will be an on
going challenge. The use of needed floor space in today's facilities sometimes
doesn't settle well with the supervisors on the floor. It is, however, very
important to recognize the need to place the collection containers where they
are most accessible for the users. Locating collection containers and
supporting equipment in an area away from the generating processes will cause
additional burden on employees, loss of productivity, and less overall
participation. It is also important to realize that spotting too many
recycling bins on the floor will also cause a loss of productivity during the
collection phase. Ideally, you would want your MRF in a centralized location
in the facility to reduce the overall collection labor effort. Remember that
in the real world, the establishment of an MRF and operation of a solid waste
recycling program is not your company's core competency. Although you have
employee and management support, when it comes to decisions of floor space for
recycling or production, you will probably end up with the less desirable
location. As long as you obtain some area to establish your "world class"
recycling program, you have achieved your goal.