How companies manage waste is a core element of their entitlement to the ISO 14001 mark, which signifies a commitment to the development and maintenance of sustainable working processes. Waste management jobs are therefore a key part of the business’ ability to become consistently environmentally aware – a fact that bleeds over both into that business’ CSR and overall sustainability quotient.
The management of waste is a far more pressing problem than most readers would probably believe. Landfill sites, never much vaunted in the first place thanks to their unsightly nature, their ability to harbour serious diseases, and their potential production of noxious or toxic gases, are running out – and so with nowhere left to put the refuse we accrete, we’re having to start thinking of other means of dealing with the issue.
Waste management jobs are largely focused on getting as much of a company’s rubbish as possible either reused, recycled or turned into energy. Where none of these options are possible, the waste must be compacted to the smallest possible size – which is either done through incineration or through physical compaction.
Incineration must be properly managed in order for it to be both effective and environmentally sound. Obviously a by-product of waste management jobs in which incineration is a common practice, gas and ash both present pollution hazards – though properly managed they may also be used to provide various forms of energy, for example through heat or pressure.
Waste management where incineration is a legal requirement (crematoria, for example) comes with a whole load of subsidiary concerns. High temperature gas management is a skilled activity in its own right, requiring the design of a system capable of filtering hot gas to remove all contaminants before it finally passes into the air.
Waste management jobs require highly qualified and experienced candidates, who are able to determine the particular waste management needs of their industries and businesses. Every sector has its own materials and waste producing processes – so every waste manager must be capable of approaching the waste problem from a practical as well as a theoretical standpoint. It’s only by creating waste management procedures that answer the needs of the business as well as those of the law that any real progress can be made.
Waste management jobs are therefore carried out in concert with other environmental professionals – particularly ecologists, who are able to advise about the environmental impacts of different kinds of waste managing.
Part of the waste manager’s job, in concert with these other professionals, is to understand the potentials of the waste itself – both good and bad. Good waste potential includes the possibility that it may be turned into energy, or that it may be recycled and used in future manufacturing. Bad potential includes the possibility of lasting damage through “hard to kill” substances – like some aggressive dioxins, for instance, which can have serious consequences of the environment and which may be created as a by-product of trying to manage the waste in the first place.
About the Author: Lisa jane is a freelance copywriter and environmentalist. He’s currently working with Ends Job Search promoting a variety of jobs including waste management jobs and specialist jobs in the conservation sector.