5 Tips to Reduce Waste in the Manufacturing Industry

All businesses should take a proactive approach towards minimizing waste, and manufacturing companies are no exception. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than a quarter-billion tons of trash are produced in the United States each year. While it’s almost impossible to avoid all forms of waste, there are steps manufacturing companies can take to reduce their waste.

#1) Use Digital Media

When possible, manufacturing companies should use digital media instead of printed media. Rather than printing and sending letters to vendors or clients, for example, they can use email. Email isn’t just convenient, as it’s sent to the intended recipient within just seconds, it’s also good for the environment since it doesn’t require paper.

#2) Choose Recyclable Materials

Another tip to reduce waste in the manufacturing industry is to choose recyclable materials. Not all materials can be recycled, and some materials are easier to recycle than others. Steel, copper and aluminum are all excellent, environmentally friendly materials that can be recycled. Using these materials, manufacturing companies can recycle excess metals, thereby reducing the amount of waste they create.

#3) Track Waste

The EPA recommends that companies track the amount of waste they produce. If a manufacturing companies doesn’t know how it much waste it produces, it won’t be able to take meaningful steps towards reducing its waste. The ENERGY STAR website offers a free web-based tool that manufacturing companies can use to track their waste. Using this tool, companies can keep track of their waste, allowing them to make the necessary changes to become more resource efficient.

#4) Set Up Recycling Bins

Manufacturing companies should set up recycling bins throughout their workplace so that workers can easily recycle materials. Whether it’s on a factory line or in the break room, recycling bins should be placed in convenient areas where workers can access them. Once a bin is full, it should be sent to a recycling company and replaced with a new bin for the same type of material.

#5) Recycle Wooden Pallets

In addition to metals like steep, copper and aluminum, another material that manufacturing companies can (and should) recycle is wood. Many manufacturing companies receive shipments on wooden pallets. Rather than disposing of these pallets in the trash, companies should recycle them. Assuming they are made of genuine wood, pallets can be broken down for use in other products and applications.

These are just a few ways that manufacturing companies can reduce waste.