Team-based creation and rollout of waste min programs

Discussion in 'Best Practices for Starting a Waste Min Program' started by Andy, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Andy

    Andy Administrator Waste Min Publisher 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    We tend to hear a lot of successes for waste min, lean manufacturing and safety programs that get employees involved from Day One. The summary of team-based programs from managers usually includes statements like:

    1) "The employees working closest to the problem came up with ideas I never would have thought of."
    2) "We got the program started a lot more quickly than I thought we would."
    3) "I was surprised at how many people in the plant were really passionate about reducing waste and recycling."

    If you've used a team or floor-based approach for your waste min or lean programs... what was your experience like?
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  2. Deb Lopez

    Deb Lopez Contributor Founding Member 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    We have what we call our "4R Team" - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink. We put it together a few years ago with people from different areas (to get different perspectives). We have the Safety Manager as our fearless leader, I'm there from Maintenance, we have a person from IT, a Production supervisor, a person from accounting, and our primary receptionist. It's a good group of people, and a diverse group helps to keep things in perspective from most any angle. We have done several projects. We started smaller, but putting recycle bins throughout the plant and office areas for things like beverage cans and bottles, plus for other items. Then we implemented sensors on the vending machines in the break room, so when no one is in there, they use less power. When someone comes in, they turn back on to full power. Also, we put sensors on almost every light switch in the building so when an room is unoccupied for a period of time the lights shut off. The sensors are movement and heat activated. So even if you are at a desk and not moving much, it knows you are there and doesn't shut off. Then we went to a much bigger project by getting rid of the large steam boiler that was strictly for humidification. We are a printing company, and climate control is critical. We replaced that big old gas guzzler with a high pressure 'mist' system. Not only did we cut drastcially down on how much natural gas we use, but we got a really nice rebate from the energy company! And we are able to keep the humidity level constant, which in the Mid-West is no small task! We have some other things we are looking at doing too. Typically, if you contact your energy provider rep, they have people they work with who will come in and do a walk-through with you to help you come up with possible projects that you can do to consume less energy and possibly get a rebates.