Managing waste is a central part of responsible property management. Legal obligations relate to the storage, handling and disposal of waste, and financial cost results from waste disposal and the inefficient use of resources.
Managing waste involves understanding the type, source and final destination of waste generated within a property and options for handling and disposing of waste. It is also important to consider the ways in which waste generation can be reduced.
A company’s environmental policy and objectives should set out its intentions in relation to waste.
Environmental policies and objectives provide a reference point for property managers and other stakeholders when considering waste management at the property level. Reviewing this information can inform and guide the development of waste management plans and associated funding strategies.
A range of information, for example, waste collection points, recycling facilities, on-site incinerators, plant specifications, and recommendations from waste audits should be collated and incorporated within a property’s asset and other registers.
It is important that legal obligations relating to the production, storage, transportation and disposal of waste are included in the property risk register.
These obligations should be accompanied by suitable operational controls, with clear responsibilities, and cross-referenced to the site Waste Management Plan.
The audit may include mapping a property's waste streams, i.e. the type, quantity, source, disposal method and destination of waste generated. An audit may also cover the effectiveness of waste management strategies, for example, storage and handling equipment and arrangements, service providers and the way in which waste data is collected and reported.
A waste audit should identify waste management improvement opportunities, along with associated cost savings.
Available data can be used to benchmark a property’s waste performance. This can be done by establishing a property’s historic waste trends and comparing these against industry benchmarks to inform future waste management improvements.
Waste performance targets, informed by the findings from waste mapping, benchmarking and audit activities, should be developed for the property.
Waste performance targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound, and may cover both waste reduction as well as preferred disposal methods.
A Waste Management Plan requires collaboration between property managers, facilities managers, occupiers and waste management service providers. The plan should document waste management arrangements, the actions that will contribute towards achieving the property’s waste targets and the monitoring and maintenance arrangements.
The plan should be reviewed at least annually as a collective exercise by all stakeholders. Waste Management Plans can also be combined at the portfolio level to support the ongoing development of waste contracts and to inform strategic improvements.
Alongside the day-to-day management of waste associated with a property’s operations, specific arrangements should be prepared for fit-out works.
Fit-out works provide opportunities to design-out waste during the construction and in-use phases of a property. Fit-out plans also enable clear waste management expectations to be set for construction contractors.
The arrangements for the segregation and disposal of waste, selection of waste management equipment and provision of waste data should be considered during the renewal of service provider contracts.
Specifications may be informed by the findings from the waste mapping, benchmarking and audit activities and should be documented in the Waste Management Plan.
A monitoring strategy should be prepared to track performance against Waste Management Plans and waste performance targets. This will enable the review and continual improvement of performance, and will contribute information for stakeholders’ sustainability reporting initiatives.
A maintenance strategy should be prepared to identify maintenance requirements for waste related assets, including information relating to newly installed or modified equipment. management equipment.
Based on the ongoing review of the site Waste Management Plan and progress towards waste performance targets, property managers should engage asset managers and occupiers to discuss how future waste improvement initiatives can be funded.
These discussions may be informed by the outcomes from waste mapping, benchmarking and audit activities, and could be guided by the high-level intent set out with the asset manager’s environmental policy and objectives.