Definition and 5 Processes of Waste Minimization (Waste Minimisation)

Traditionally, waste is viewed as an unnecessary element arising from the activities of any industry. In reality, waste is a misplaced resource, existing at a wrong place at a wrong time. Waste is also the inefficient use of utilities such as electricity, water, and fuel, which are often considered unavoidable overheads.

The costs of these wastes are generally underestimated by managers. It is important to realize that the cost of waste is not only the cost of waste disposal, but also other costs such as: disposal cost, purchase cost of wasted raw material, production cost for the waste material, management time spent on waste material, lost revenue for what could have been a product instead of waste and potential liabilities due to waste.

What is Waste Minimization (Waste Minimisation)?

Waste minimization or waste minimisation can be defined as “systematically reducing waste at source”. It means:

Prevention and/or reduction of waste generated

Efficient use of raw materials and packaging

Efficient use of fuel, electricity and water

Improving the quality of waste generated to facilitate recycling and/or reduce hazard

Encouraging re-use, recycling and recovery.

Read Also : Importance of Waste Reduction

Waste minimisation is the process and the policy of reducing the amount of waste produced by a person or a society. It involves efforts to minimise resource and energy use during manufacture. For the same commercial output, usually the fewer materials are used, the less waste is produced.

Waste minimisation usually requires knowledge of the production process, cradle-to-grave analysis (the tracking of materials from their extraction to their return to earth) and detailed knowledge of the composition of the waste.

Definition and 5 Processes of Waste Minimization (Waste Minimisation)

Waste minimisation is also known by other terms such as waste reduction, pollution prevention, source reduction and cleaner technology. It makes use of managerial and/or technical interventions to make industrial operations inherently pollution free.

It should be also clearly understood that waste minimisation, however attractive, is not a panacea for all environmental problems and may have to be supported by conventional treatment/disposal solutions.

5 Processes of Waste Minimisation

1. Resource Optimisation

Minimising the amount of waste produced by organisations or individuals goes hand-in-hand with optimising their use of raw materials.

For example, a dressmaker may arrange pattern pieces on a length of fabric in a particular way to enable the garment to be cut out from the smallest area of fabric.

2. Reuse of Scrap Material

Scraps can be immediately re-incorporated at the beginning of the manufacturing line so that they do not become a waste product.

Many industries routinely do this; for example, paper mills return any damaged rolls to the beginning of the production line, and in the manufacture of plastic items, Off-cuts and scrap are re- incorporated into new products.

3. Improved Quality Control and Process Monitoring

Steps can be taken to ensure that the number of reject batches is kept to a minimum. This is achieved by increasing the frequency of inspection and the number of points of inspection.

For example, installing automated continuous monitoring equipment can help to identify production problems at an early stage.

Read Also : 3 Classification of Waste Minimisation (WM) Techniques

4. Waste Exchanges

This is where the waste product of one process becomes the raw material for a second process. Waste exchanges represent another way of reducing waste disposal volumes for waste that cannot be eliminated.

5. Ship to Point of Use

This involves making deliveries of incoming raw materials or components direct to the point where they are assembled or used in the manufacturing process to minimise handling and the use of protective wrappings or enclosures.

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Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education...  Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices. 3. - Your Reliable Agriculture and Waste Management Online Community Forum! Join Me On:  Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: TheAgriPedia TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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