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Talking Trash with Onyx

Gerald Grant - A guest blogger prepared the below for Onyx to share. As many know Onyx has always leads with suitability and conservation. Onyx met with Gerald recently and TALKED TRASH. There is a requirement that will be in place by the end of 2025 for apartment style buildings to have organic waste management in place. Gerald, shared some great idea's. We look forward to working with Gerald but for now..,.. let's do some TRASH TALKING BLOGGING, see below!

Waste and recycling issues are always messy. There aren’t many systems within the typical multi-res building envelope that experience the same kinds of abuse, misuse and overall stresses that the waste management infrastructure faces…and the indirect impacts of this system upon other systems are seldom correlated. Many of these impacts are also messy.

The aim is always to set up a building with an effective waste management system and strategies right from construction with the best tools, systems, equipment, communications and service provision. But as we likely all know, the initial system must be followed up on with a strategy that will prevail through multiple managers, supervisors, maintenance operators and cleaning contractors over the life of the building. From experiences gleaned over numerous, even hundreds, of site visits, it all boils down to what we now refer to as the 5C’s of effective waste management.

Capacity, Convenience, Communication, Cleanliness and Consistency… (we have spoken about the 4C’s in the past, but it was time for an upgrade!) Baking these 5 elements into building operations is key to successful waste management. In brief, here is what we need to look at to address these 5 necessary components.

Capacity. Ask: do you have enough serviceable containers, with enough volume to store the materials in the various streams that you are managing for their respective service windows? Similarly, are your common areas adequately equipped?

Convenience. Ask: are residents (and staff!) able to access the various waste streams effectively and equitably? Are access points kept safe, secure, and well lit?

Communication. Ask: does your resident base (and staff) know what they are supposed to do with their various waste types? What, Where, When, and How should be explained, and if needed, provide information that supports your organizations ‘Why’. Perhaps way-finding, bin labelling, adequate container provision within common areas, and access to information on building system portals need to be reviewed.

Cleanliness. Ask: whether odour management, vector management, structural integrity, and first impressions are being impacted by this often overlooked building system. Ensuring that touch-points, equipment, floors, and related chutes and waste related HVAC systems are kept clean and up-to-date is essential.

Consistency. Ask: does your building operate with Standard Operating Procedures and checklists for everything else, but not the waste functions? It all starts with a good, consistent platform of action that spells out all of the first 4 C’s daily, weekly, monthly and beyond.

Every building is different, but these 5C’s can play an important role in creating a solid platform, where waste diversion, operational and environmental sustainability, and structural/systemic integrity can be effectively maintained, which will hopefully in turn keep residents and staff happy.

Gerald Grant is the founder of Innovate Waste Solutions Corp. He is recognized as a Subject Matter Expert within the multi-res sector regarding all things waste related both for existing buildings and new builds having over 15+ years experience in the area and over 30 years experience in the waste management industry. He can be reached at 647-882-7723 and

Photo Credit - Parkway Fellowship

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