Waste management and recycling

1.0 Introduction
Waste can be defined as any substance or object discarded for which the owner has no further use of need. As stated by (CIOB, 2009) “Waste are materials for which the generator has no further use for own purpose of production, transformation or consumption, and which he discards or is required to discard.” The UK consumes natural resources at an unsustainable rate and contributes unnecessarily to climate change. Each year we generate approximately 280 million tonnes of waste.(Defra, 2011) which causes environmental damage and costs businesses and consumers money. An effective waste management structure is essential to comply with ever-strengthening legislation and environmental concerns. This should be implemented to follow the waste hierarchy in Figure 1.

(Defra, 2010) Figure 1. – This shows the waste hierarchy.

2.0 Current situation
Currently Westcliff high school has no waste management system in place. There is no designated member in the FM team that deals with the monitoring of the schools waste. This is a major disadvantage to the school yet is very important as they have no precise understanding of the waste they produce, why it’s being produced, how much of the waste could be reduced and the environmental impact its having. As stated by Wiggins, 2010: A robust waste management policy is important for two reasons: i) The business must utilise its resources efficiently. ii) There is increasing focus through legislation and from pressure groups in environmental issues, especially pertaining to waste. Recommendations – 1a- A member of the FM team should be appointed to take control and manage the waste produced by the school. As stated by wiggins: “FM or the dedicated manager responsible for waste management should undertake regular audits to check compliance with each stage of the waste chain” 1b – A planning process should then be implemented to target areas where waste can be reduced as shows in figure 1.

(European Commission Environment DG) Figure 1. – This shows an example of a management plan.

3.0 Audit
3.1 Waste disposal The school produces a variety of waste from paper materials, timber off cuts from the technology department, waste food from the cooking department and hazardous chemicals from the science department. There are three options for waste disposal: 1. The strict reduction of waste generation, through adjustment, redesign of processes and cooperation with suppliers. 2. The internal, and responsible, recycling of waste materials to provide new or different products. 3. Getting rid of the waste to someone else and making it their problem. (Booty) The school use the third option. All there waste is removed by a contractor called Ahern. Strengths Ahern will comply with all current legislations and for hazardous waste from the science department will be dealt with Weaknesses No areas of waste are being looked into to see how much of it can be reduced.

according to Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) Recommendations – 2a – Try to target any areas where the production of waste is reduced. As stated by European commission environment DG. “An outline of waste ensures identification of areas in which technological measures should be taken to eliminate or minimise certain types of waste.”

3.2

Bins

Currently the school has a mixture of bins situated in different locations, from the cooking room and play ground as shows in figure 2 and 3. Most of the bins are mixed and have a variety of waste from paper to waste food from the cooking department.

Figure 2. – This shows a bin in the cooking department, with mixed waste.

Figure 3. – This shows one of the mixed bins in the school play ground.

The school has also got bins for paper only in a select amount of classrooms. As shown in figure 4.

Figure 4. – This shows the school paper only bins. There is also a big skip hired from GBN skips. This is used to put a mixture of card, timber, plastic, broken furniture and leaves from the play ground. As shown in figure 5 and 6.

Figure 5. – The schools skip in the play ground.

Figure 6. – This shows the skip with a mixture of waste. Weaknesses Paper is the only object separated from other waste. No other waste such as food is separated from general waste; it is all put into mixed bins. Even though there are bins for the separation of paper, it is still being mixed with other general waste objects by the cleaners. As shown in figure 7.

Strengths The school has paper only bins. This allows for easier sorting and separating from other general waste, this is then easier for the re-cycling process.

Figure 7. – This shows a variety of waste which has been mixed by the cleaners. The waste being put into the skip for disposal is mixed. The waste being mixed is also waste that can be recycled e.g. card. The leaves could also go to be composted. People have not been educated on the separation of waste and how they can reduce there production. An example is the cleaners as shown in Figure 7 the waste has not been separated for recycling, even though bins have been provided. Recommendations – 3a – Accept from paper all the other waste should be separated to allow for easier recycling. As stated by Waste action Scotland, 2003. “Development of improved facilities to allow separated waste streams to be collected” 3b – Ensure to teach waste producers such as school children and teachers of the importance of recycling and how they can help with the reduction of waste. This could be done by teaching and using signage. As stated by Government office for London, 2007. “Schools can easily reduce their waste by recycling and increase their pupils’ understanding about the consumption of natural resources by looking closely at ways to reduce and reuse items first.” 3c – Ensure to teach cleaners of the importance of separating there waste and using the paper bins provided.

3d – Ensure the waste being put into the skip no longer has a use. Items such as card and leaves should not be put into skips but should be recycled and composted.

4.0 Conclusion
The above findings have shown that the waste management and recycling within the school is currently not of use. The main findings have shown that the main strengths are that they have started to implement waste management and recycling techniques by introducing paper only bins etc. Furthermore the weaknesses of the school dramatically outweigh the strengths. The main major weakness is that they still have yet to implement a fully working waste management strategy. After summarising the main strengths and weaknesses it highlights that the school is dramatically lacking in this area. They need to pay more attention on the sources of waste and implement a plan on the reduction of waste.

References Defra. Waste and recycling, 2011. [online] Available at:< http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/> [Accessed 2nd December 2011] CIOB, Construction information quarterly, 2009. Available through: construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] European Commissions Environment DG, Preparing a waste management plan, a methodological guidance note. 2003. Available

through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] Waste action Scotland, National waste strategy Scotland, 2003. Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] Government office London, Creating sustainable schools in London: A case study guide, 2007. Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] Defra, Review of schedule 2 of the controlled waste regulations (1992) Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] Bibliography European Commissions Environment DG, Preparing a waste management plan, a methodological guidance note. 2003. Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] BSRIA, Guidance and the standard specification for waste management. 1998. Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 3rd December 2011] Government office London, Creating sustainable schools in London: A case study guide, 2007. Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] Waste action Scotland, National waste strategy Scotland, 2003. Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] Defra, Review of schedule 2 of the controlled waste regulations (1992) Available through: Construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011] CIOB, Construction information quarterly, 2009. Available through: construction information service database [Accessed 2nd December 2011]