When people stop considering waste as something dirty, they will start seeing the differences between dirty waste and clean waste. It helps the environment and your company to become active in the loop of sustainability.
By Samuele Barrili

‘Clean’ and ‘waste’ in the same phrase? While you may have read the two words in some article about the importance of “proper waste management to ensure a better and cleaner world for our children”, these two words are generally not associated. For a long period of time, they were quite the opposite.

In fact, reading the history of waste management, companies that managed waste produced by industry development were much maligned. Industrialists, politicians, and even progressive reformers saw waste handling as “dirty work”. That perception carried to waste workers, associating them with the unsanitary conditions, which, in turn, generated a negative idea about waste. That perception continues to exist hundreds of years later.

It is probably due to this wrong idea that people continue to consider waste as something not clean. Acting subsequently, they generate uncleaned waste that creates tons of smelly waste, which is the source of some of the problems at processing plants. In some cases, these problems start in the trucks that perform daily waste collection, especially during hot weather. Yet, it is often said, “It is part of the game.” Kind of like reiterating the old concept that garbage is dirty.

This Old Concept Cannot Exist Today
These old ideas created a misconception of waste that is even more wrong today because waste can be a solution to raw material shortages—starting from the precious materials obtainable from old electrical and electronic equipment, to fertilizers created from composting organic waste. And that is only a small part of what is possible.

How can this solution become effective if waste management continues to be regarded it as something dirty? While this may not be your case, the future of your business is at stake, and more importantly, there is a chance to grow it exponentially.

Waste Generation
If you think for one moment about what unclean waste generates in your plant, you will easily understand the following examples:
Bad smells: It creates problems for your team, especially in closed areas. In fact, the bad smell is due to the production of particular molecules that, in some cases, can create eyes, nose, throat, and lung
Risk management: It increases the danger inside the plant. In fact, how many times do people risk slipping due to some drops of oil? The same happens when people touch something dirty, like needles, acids, etc.
Long-time process: The process may become longer in connection with the levels of waste. In addition, water and chemicals used for waste cleaning are environmentally impactful.

And these are just some of the most important aspects. The list could be much longer depending on the type of facility that you have.

Educating Your Customers
One common solution to solve some of the problems connected with “dirty waste” is educating citizens—your target audience. Educate them on the real value of waste. It is something that they
ignore but can actually positively impact the above-mentioned aspects.

How do you educate them about the value of their waste? Present them with the benefits that clean waste will directly have on them, which in turn will include benefits for you. Then you can pass onto citizens some of the economic benefits you get from receiving waste that has already been cleaned.

Create content that shares tips on how to clean the waste they generate and where the materials obtained from the waste that they give you will be applied. For example “How to clean a plastic bottle in order to contribute to the production of a new backpacks”, or “How to clean a paper box to contribute to a creation of new wallets”. You can share this content directly via mail, by videos on YouTube™, or other platforms to reach your audience.

When you share this educational content, keep this question in mind: “What is in it for me?” That is the question in the mind of citizens. Do not forget it. Close your tailored message by saying that they will receive an XX percentage discount for the collection service only if the waste is clean. This discount percentage will flow from how much easier it is to process this waste in your plant and how quickly this waste is able to leave your plant in the form of secondary raw materials.

The Best Source of Raw Material
I mentioned previously that many materials face shortages and that waste is one of the best resources, which means one thing: you sit on a mine of raw materials that are only waiting to be sold to the market.
Before sharing the benefits that you received from clean waste, create an agreement with companies interested in purchasing the secondary raw materials from your facility. That agreement will increase your advantages and will be supported by the cleaned waste streams that you will receive from citizens. These streams will cut the processing time, costs, and will contribute positively to the delivery of high-quality secondary raw materials.

Your company will also be actively sustainable, giving a real contribution to the reuse of raw materials supporting the local economy. As a result, this change will positively impact your company, the community, and the environment.

When people stop considering waste as something dirty, they will start seeing the differences between dirty waste and clean waste. It helps the environment and your company to become active in the loop of sustainability. | WA

Samuele Barrili is an Italian Marketer, TVHost, Podcaster, and Author. Born in Cagliari, Italy, Samuele began his career as a salesman in 2010. After earning a degree in Toxicological Chemistry at the University of Cagliari (Sardinia), he decided to dedicate himself to studying and discovering the art of sales. After nine years in the field, working as sales and marketing manager for national and international firms involved in chemicals, electromechanical, and waste management, Samuele created MiM Marketing Interim Managers, the first interim company focused on marketing for waste management companies. MiM company originates from the combination of the knowledge of chemistry combined with the knowledge of direct response marketing. Marketing4Waste is the first marketing service totally dedicated to waste management companies. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit www.marketing4waste.com.