Case: Systematic waste sorting benefits the environment and our business

In Troldtekt’s production, there is now even more focus on ensuring that cardboard and plastic do not end up in the same container. A new sorting system means that it is easier for Troldtekt to ensure that the waste is handled correctly following disposal, and that as much as possible is recycled.

Photo:
Allan Madsen participated actively in the process of designing a new sorting system. 

Troldtekt, CSR - affaldshåndtering

Old cardboard boxes, empty paint tins, defective fluorescent tubes and polypropylene plastic Strapex straps. Each day, the manufacture of Troldtekt acoustic panels generates many different waste factions that have to be handled in different ways. Some can be recycled, while other factions require special handling and must be disposed of in an environmentally correct manner. In the past, Troldtekt had several different hauliers collecting and disposing of the waste, while some of it, for example cardboard, was incinerated in the factory’s boiler. However, this was both inefficient and impractical.
– Cardboard waste has no appreciable calorific value, so we only burnt it to get rid of it. At the same time, it caused problems blocking the feeding system for our boiler, says Allan Madsen, a metalsmith employed in Troldtekt’s maintenance department.

Waste is a joint responsibility
Allan Madsen and his colleagues raised the issue with Troldtekt’s management, and Troldtekt has now introduced a new and comprehensive sorting system. Sorting has been introduced for several reasons, but it was vital that the employees themselves were involved and played an active role in the process, says environmental manager Renate Blom.

The right container is close by

Troldtekt, CSR 2016 - affaldshåndtering

Each of Troldtekt’s production departments has received individual waste bag stands corresponding to their needs. Frederik Haunstrup, an apprentice metalsmith, was asked to weld in specially designed holders for the waste signage which, among other things, has a picture showing what sort of waste should be put in the container.
– We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that it’s easy to sort the waste correctly, because the right container is always close by. The carpenters, for example, have a lot of packaging, while the metalworkers need to be able to dispose of waste oil, downpipes, metals and chemicals. As an apprentice, it was exciting to help out, not least because it was a challenge to weld the round tubes which the stands are made of, says Frederik Haunstrup.

The waste signage is also used to mark the large containers which Troldtekt leases.
Troldtekt, CSR 2016 - Affaldshåndtering

– The only way to make waste sorting a success is if all the employees can see the sense in it. All it takes is for a single person to chuck something in the wrong container for the system to fall to pieces. It was therefore crucial that we received specific input from the employees on which waste needed to be sorted, says Renate Blom.

Sorting provides a better overview
In addition to the purely practical and environmental benefits, there are other positive aspects of the new waste sorting system. Now a single company handles all the waste, which makes it easier for Troldtekt to keep track of what is happening to the waste when it leaves the factory.
– It’s an important part of our overall strategy to recycle as much as possible and to act in an environmentally responsible way. It also means that we need to have a grip on the data and documentation so that we know how much waste is incinerated, recycled, sent for landfill etc. It has become much easier now that we have just one company handling all the disposal and recycling, says Renate Blom.

Tipping bins are emptied using a forklift truck, so there is minimal manual handling.
Troldtekt, CSR 2016 - Affaldshåndtering

Good money in cardboard and plastic

Plastic is collected locally and then taken to a large container.
Troldtekt, CSR 2016 - Affaldshåndtering

When the stands are full, the company’s caretaker Allan Hammer ensures they are emptied into the containers, and that the waste is sorted correctly. There are both good environmental and economic reasons for sorting thoroughly.  
– I’m a bit like an employee at a recycling centre. My colleagues know where to find me if they’re in any doubt about which container to put a particular item of waste into. The introduction of the scheme has gone really well, and there have only been a few occasions when things have ended up in the wrong place. It requires, of course, that people pay a bit more attention on a daily basis, but everyone appreciates that it’s a good idea. It makes good sense to protect the environment of course, and with the new scheme, we get paid for the things which can be recycled rather than having to pay for them to be collected. In particular, there is good money in cardboard and plastics if things are sorted properly, says Allan Hammer.