Sustainability 101

Listen: “Data is everything right now” – Great Forest on Waste 360 Podcast

This year’s Waste Expo included a terrific discussion on the importance of data, featuring Great Forest’s director of national accounts Joe Romuno and three other industry colleagues (shout out to Chris Ronson, Re-TRAC; Steve Steven, Rehrig Pacific; and Emily Covan, Recyclist.)

If you missed it, listen to Joe now on “New Data – Who Dis? What Data Collection Can Do for You” on Waste 360’s terrific NothingWasted! podcast or click the link below to listen to the full show.

From Waste360: How can you plan where you want to go, if you don’t know where you are? Data collection is crucial for establishing successful waste & recycling programs, especially in today’s volatile market. It’s necessary to measure and understand what and how much waste is being generated and discarded, and why. On top of that, the variances in reporting makes comparisons and benchmarking difficult, with each program having their own system, definitions, and reporting requirements. In this session from WasteExpo, you will hear examples of how industry leaders are working towards reporting consistency to take on data measurement, and how businesses can use data to identify and reduce their waste and costs to work towards closing the loop on zero waste. 

Here are highlights of some of Joe’s insights:

Data is everything right now in the waste industry

Companies have ramped up the need for data over the past few years.

… throughout the country almost 77%of materials… that buildings  are throwing away is NOT trash at all and having that data is really important now. It’s more crucial than ever with the volatile market we are in and businesses need to know there are other options for disposal for their materials than just going to the landfill or waste energy facility.

Waste audits are a type of data collection that is growing across the country. Our clients want to measure and understand how much of each material type they are generating and they want know how they can reduce the different material types and waste audits allow us to do this.

Without data, businesses are operating in the dark. They don’t know what they need to do to improve, they don’t know where they currently stand. Data is everything right now in the waste industry and it’s going to continue to grow in importance.

As you all know, the recycling market has taken a a pretty severe downturn in recent history. As a result, there has been lots of changes in the market including contamination… Customers are getting hit with contamination charges… We’re also seeing contamination break through to the mainstream media. As a result of that, more stakeholders within companies are starting to pay more attention to this data. 

As data collection becomes more important, access to that information becomes more important. We provide access to a 24-7 web portal for our customers that they can log in and see their data at any time… we are seeing more stakeholders… demanding more information from companies they’re invested in to make sure they are doing the right thing.

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