Know the fate of your recyclables

Equilibrium explains the risks of not understanding your downstream supply chains and the benefits that come with taking charge of this.

Not knowing where your waste is going can lead to reputational and regulatory risks that can directly affect business performance, undermine public confidence and lead to problematic environmental outcomes.

Keeping track of where waste, recyclables and commodities end up is a challenge. So is tracking whether the materials are subject to transparent and environmentally sound management.

According to Equilibrium’s Damien Wigley, if you are collecting and on-selling or shipping material for further processing, do you really know how it is it being recycled?

COMMON ISSUES

Damien says that without transparency in the downstream supply chain, recyclers, logistics providers and many other stakeholders are exposed to risks.

“Simply using an agent or broker to move material is not an excuse to remove the burden of true recovery and recycling practices,” Damien says.

Whether you are a local council managing kerbside recycling services, a product stewardship association operating a take-back scheme, or a large waste management contractor providing collection and consolidation services, Damien says the need for a documented downstream assurance process is essential. He says it demonstrates a professional and ethical approach to managing your activities.

MANAGING RISK

Reputational risk occurs when a material that you have collected and said will be recycled is inappropriately or illegally disposed of.

“No organisation wants its reputation is questioned, whether you work in council, operate a materials recovery facility or manage a recycling business. If you are in local government and in collect kerbside collection, you want to be confident that the household effort is being supported by environmentally sound management,” Damien says.

Nicholas Harford, Managing Director of Equilibrium, notes that it is particularly important to know where materials are going for waste streams such as e-waste and tyres.

“Some kerbside recyclables may also require an export or transport licence, and being on top of these requirements and ensuring effective compliance is where Equilibrium can assist,” Nicholas says.

A STEP-WISE AND TRANSPARENT PROCESS

Equilibrium provides a step-wise service that is customer-centric. It is tailored to the waste and resource recovery industry as well as product stewardship organisations and arrangements. The organisation aims to alleviate downstream supply chain uncertainty and better track material and waste movements.

Multiple platforms are used to identify and generate downstream supply chain distribution networks, including the potential use of blockchain (and other electronic freight movement data bases) to maximise transparency and stakeholder access.

Nicholas says understanding your downstream supply chains demands a comprehensive process and detailed visibility around the movement of waste and other material streams.

“We can adapt our downstream solutions depending on the type of materials and where they are being sent to, whether it be interstate, intrastate or overseas.”

CUSTOMER BENEFITS AND OUTCOMES

The benefits of effectively tracking and documenting your downstream supply chains are diverse and include:

  • Building customer confidence in their own processes.
  • Reducing the risk of non-compliance or regulatory breaches.
  • Identifying leakage from the downstream recycling pathways.
  • Maximising downstream transparency and process visibility.
  • Ensuring accountability with downstream customers and providers.
  • The ability to share and report accurate information.

For more information, contact Nicholas Harford: M: 0419 993 234  E: nick@equil.com.au or Damien Wigley: M 0404 899 961  E: damien@equil.com.au