It seems that waste reduction is a goal but in this article, I’ll show you that the problem is not the quantity of waste produced but the quantity of recycled/reused waste.
I know that what I’m telling you is something in contrast with what the mainstream communicates to you. In fact, during these days there is COP26, a conference of the parties, with a focus on climate change and obviously on waste reduction.
But what I’m about to tell you, though an uncomfortable truth, is still a truth.
As has always been the case, politics feeds the problem and tries to promote solutions that act downstream, when it is necessary to use solutions that act upstream.
That’s why the point will not be the reduction of waste, but the correct management. But why doesn’t anyone talk about it?
Because talking about it would be tantamount to admitting to having carried out failed solutions in past years. Solutions moved by politics and not by the application of sciences.
The most striking example is related to PET plastic, presented as a bottle in 1974 by DuPont as the most recyclable material. So why did we start talking seriously about plastic recycling only towards the end of the 90s?
It is obvious that there were different interests behind it, but this is not the place to talk about them. What I can say is that you, as a waste manager or the manager of a waste management plant, have a very important role today. A role that can change the balance of the raw materials available on our planet.
And that role will become more important as the years go by. In fact, considering that the population will increase up to 9.7 Billion in 2050 (source ourworldindata.org) also waste production will increase. For that reason the forecast by statista.com talks about 3.4 billions metric tons for 2050.
As you can see the idea of waste reduction is something utopist. The only possibility to stop the waste production is to stop the growth of the global population, which is something impossible.
For that reason there is only one thing to do: increase the right collection.
And this is where your company comes in. As I mentioned before, the role of your company will become more important for our planet. For that you need to be ready. But how? Well first with the simplest step: incentivize waste collection in your municipality.
For that reason I decided to give you 3 tips that you could implement immediately in your company also if you know zero about marketing.
I know that it seems stupid but believe me it isn’t. A lot of people think that complexity in communication reflects the complexity of the process. Unfortunately the only thing that reflects is the distance between the company and their users. It happens also for waste management companies.
For that reason if you want to actively promote waste collection you have to simplify your message. Avoid technical terms and a university language. Use a simple language as you have to talk to your 5 years old child.
That’s one of the most interesting points. For that reason I would offer you an example. Think for one moment about Coca Cola. How do you identify it? There are 3 things over its taste: the red color, the contour bottle and its logo. Probably you created your own logo that appears on your trucks and on your shirts but how can they identify you if your logo on your t-shirt is as large as a baseball on a football field? For that it’s important that you create a uniform that identifies you thanks to colors totally aligned with the type of service that you offer.
As an example if you collect iron and glass you could create two uniforms one brown for the people that collect iron and one blue for the people that collect glass. In these two uniforms your logo could be easily identifiable at a hundred meters of distance.
Probably you already offer support to the baseball team of your son or to the in-line team of your daughter, and that’s magic. But what in this tip I’m talking about is actively promoting the advantages for your community thanks to the waste collection. As an example you could organize a guided tour to your plant that explains, in an easy way, what your company does with the collected waste. You could organize a conference where you invite all the citizens of your community or municipality where you explain with some videos and some slides how your company helps the environment with its activities.
That offers the people the possibility to know and to become an active part of the process. In fact what is important is to be thankful with the people for what they do every single day with their home segregation. At the same time, offer them a gadget for their presence at the conference that is useful. Could be like keyring or something that they will use and see every single day.
These 3 tips will easily change the impact of your company in your community.
Please give me your feedback when you implement it.
Samuele Barrili is a Waste Management Expert and Business Strategist. 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) and many masters in Waste Treatment, he combined his knowledge to define his mission: save the planet helping 6,000 waste management companies to continue to thrive. After nine years in the field, working as a sales and marketing manager for international firms in waste management, Samuele created M4W Marketing For Waste, the first growth agency focused on helping waste management companies. Marketing4Waste is the first service dedicated to waste management companies.
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