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Knowledge

Thailand State of Landfill

Situation

Waste in landfills accounts for 13% of GHG Emission Sources. The impact of landfill sites are environmentally disastrous as it pollutes the air and water sources as well as creates acidification. In Thailand, there are 70 legally-approved landfills in operation today in addition to 1,888 open dumping sites around the country(1).

The 9-year statistics indicate no significant correlation between the waste quantity and the changes in the open dumping and landfill sites. However, when compared to other disposal methodologies available, open dumping and landfilling make up between 70-80% of the number of waste management facilities.

What could be the rationale behind these figures?

Based on our research and hands-on experience working with communities within cities, rural areas, and tourist attractions, our take on the matter is as follows:

  1. Landfilling is still the most cost-effective way to dispose of waste (THB/Tonne) when compared to other means in the aspects of capital investment.

  2. Landfilling is attached to the RDF and Waste-to-Energy related businesses and therefore, could potentially be perceived as ‘manageable’ over time.

  3. In the absence of existing waste disposal facilities, remote areas prefer the open dumping and open burn methodologies as it is free.

  4. Long-standing open dump sites remain untouched as there is no clear ownership especially in the abandoned sites.

How can anyone get involved?

There is no silver bullet solution to the reduction of landfill usage. However, the change that is structural and systematic in nature can bring about the change together with the power of critical mass.

  1. Consumers and businesses alike should look harder into waste reduction in their day-to-day lives and operation workflow. This will ensure a more sustainable way towards zero waste to landfill while saving natural resources.

  2. There needs to be more accessible networks to facilitate the reusability of materials or things such as used clothes, old furniture, outdated electrical appliances.

  3. Waste segregation at the last line of defense needs to be set in place together with the required equipment to enable the people to sort their waste correctly to ensure that recyclable materials can go into recycling process and that only the minimum amount is left to landfilling.

GEPP Sa-Ard’s mission is to drive the zero landfill movement in Thailand for a cleaner place for us, our next generation to live.

Join us in the #zerolandfill mission.

(1) Pollution Control Department Report, 2021

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Knowledge

How do school do for recycling? Intangible benefit or behavior forming and passing changes to their home.

The school will start soonly. We wanted to share our experience with school waste management and kids. Waste sorting needs to start with kids. We would have seen many schools now are starting to work hard on this. Thailand now is growing on the international school market since 2019. Many schools just start operation in mid-2019, so it would be a good opportunity for us to build this knowledge to our children. Through our experiences, we found cases that would be a best practice in terms of how to start. Schools are more than just educated and be better in their own waste management, But it would help pass on knowledge to their house with activities.

Waste Management Activities in schools we found divided in to:

1. Internal waste management — To manage those waste from daily activities with infrastructure bins and collection systems.

2. Activities waste management — Waste Bank is an example of activity in school. It’s work by play and learning process so kids can trade their pre-sorted recyclable for gifts. But those recyclable must be clean. Self Food composting is also a very good activity and helps reduce food waste significantly.

3.Reuse and Recycle program — Many initiatives in school to start producing an upcycling product from students. That we found the product could be from plant pots to upcycling skateboard. And Food waste to compose to use in school’s garden.

These methods need to have a supply to support such as teacher working team, Student leading team. Or even school staff to help support these systems. What is the result that we would expect?

Early learning. Activities create the opportunity for kids to learn and live in a good environment of waste management and form their behavior from a young. And also passing knowledge of how and why we have to sort our waste.

Behavior change. Passing this behavior to their home and family is the key to impact this change to our society. Most parents in these examples said that they have to help their kids to sort for recyclable. So these are a great opportunity

Cost efficiency. Management right will helps school manage their cost in the longterm to prevent cost as a business operation.

The school is one of a place that can create a lot of waste daily so we can have this as our opportunity to supporting kids to learn to save our planet, Passing this impact and knowledge to their family. And get more cost efficiency in your waste management

GEPP Author:
Dome is the Co-founder and CMO of GEPP. He is passionate about building a better world through better waste management thinking method. He is specialized and experienced in implementing waste management goals, infrastructure change advisory for better waste management.

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Knowledge

Happy new year 2021! Be safe and keep on recycling.

2020 was particularly a year of tremendous challenges, but even in this difficult situation, our team at GEPP was working side by side with companies to improve their reporting and driving better results.

Despite this year’s challenges, 55% of our clients have been able to keep their recycling rate over the benchmark of 35%. And the biggest change we found is a company that has improved its recycling rate from 11% to 58% within less than a year. This is clear evidence that managing waste toward zero landfills is possible — you just need the commitment to take action!

This type of change can seem daunting, but we have learned that you just need to break down the process into three clear stages — Start, Maintain, and Report.

Start: When you are getting started on improving your waste management operations, you’re likely to encounter three key problems:

1. Lack of knowledge in waste segregation. Many companies tend spend a lot of time on deciding how bins should look like instead of how best our staff can sort waste.

2. Challenges in finding the right collector or service provider. Once your waste has been sorted, you may find it hard to find a reliable collector or you may need more than one collector to satisfy all your special collection needs.

3. Limited resources: Companies have many ESG goals that they have to accomplish in one year with so many projects at hand, but their sustainability teams are often understaffed or under resourced.

Maintain: Once your project has gotten started, you need to do even more to maintain the momentum to achieve your final goals:

1. Setting targets and delivering. As companies start to take waste management seriously and want to set up their measurable targets, they often lack information and make it hard to set clear commitments about the numbers they will be able or should achieve.

2. Communication. Most companies fail to communicate regularly enough (usually by the start and end of the campaign), may not communicate directly to the right audience, or don’t know what data they should use.

3. Crisis situations. COVID-19 has inevitably impacted all businesses, as well as all stakeholders in the recycling chain. Some collectors stopped their business because of the crisis, which in turn interrupts offices’ ability to sort waste and recycle their waste without this essential service.

Report. Trust building is such a fundamental driver in engaging all stakeholders. Oftentimes, companies tell the “too good to be true” results that bring more questions than appreciation.

1. Data tracking. Companies are often overwhelmed by the amount of waste management data they need to track, especially when faced a shortage of resources and only manual tools for tracking. Discipline can do so much without the right tool and automation.

2. Target setting. Most companies don’t know which data to use to set relevant targets that truly measure environmental impact that make a difference for their businesses.

From our engagements, we have identified that the most essential factor that comes across in the three stages is your ability to manage your waste data and in a way that it can serve the different purposes as your project progresses. Reliable and auditable data set gives insight and shapes up the right purposes of your transformation program. It begs the right questions while gives the right answers towards sustainability.

GEPP Sa-Ard is the owner of GEPP waste segregation standards and GEPP IoT-based waste data management platform that help companies achieve real results and impact in their efforts to reduce waste. Please feel free to contact us for product inquiries at geppthailand@gmail.com.

GEPP Author:

Dome is the Co-founder and CMO of GEPP. He is passionate about building a better world through better waste management thinking method. He is specialized and experienced in implementing waste management goals, infrastructure change advisory for better waste management.

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Knowledge

How do condo with 700 units go recycle step by step?

People may think condominiums are the hardest place to start a recycling program. Maybe it’s not. Residences are a major concern to adapt the recycling system into the property and it’s getting harder during COVID.

We have a case of approx.700 units low rise condominium in Bangkok. That has been sorting and recycling for 1 year of the property. Went through all these processes below

Today we will have steps to be more recycling.

Example of staff waste sorting as a starting point for waste management program

1. Communication and Education — Raise awareness to every residence through every channel. Arrange a waste sorting class for both maid and residences.

2.Infrastructure — Prepare your sorting stations and recycling storage room. This is an important part to consider in the early property design stage.

3. Collaborate workforce for mission — To procedure according to the standard of better waste management.

4. Arrange a collection — General waste and Food waste are collected based on local authorize in each area. For recyclables, you can find a local trader in your area.

5. Data collection — It’s very important for these to be measurable. Collecting data in each waste will give you visibility of the real waste that you are dealing with.

6. Reporting back — All recycling program participants must know the progress of recycling activity in the area.

Tips:

– Communication is all so the hardest part of every recycling program, so don’t give up and make a fast judgment. But keep you consistent.

– If you sell recyclable, There will be many ways to share benefit among stakeholders (Property, Maids, and Residences)

– Waste intents to be managed and make the result tangible and measurable.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qUlmknKj5M&feature=youtu.be

GEPP Author:

Dome is the Co-founder and CMO of GEPP. He is passionate about building a better world through better waste management thinking method. He is specialized and experienced in implementing waste management goals, infrastructure change advisory for better waste management.

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Knowledge

Debunk Myth: Can you really save cost by managing your waste better?

Is your company’s management team asking what financial gains come out of your waste management programs? If yes, join the club.

The most fundamental question of this situation is “Why?”. Why do companies have to start managing their wastes better? Why do they need to become more responsible for waste they generate? Why your company?

Photo Credit: Alliance Magazine-For philanthropy and social investment worldwide

First, the fact that your consumers (and nowadays employees, too) are now becoming more environmentally-responsible and that causes them to seek for products that can enable them to pursue this new lifestyle and their judgement can route all the way to how you manage your waste after sale. A good case study is Recycling Program initiated by famous coffee shops in Toronto, Canada (Refer to link below).

Second, the long-standing, heavily-debated, possibly-coming system called EPR which stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. For those who want to know more, I have put the link to the OECD’s definition of EPR below. But to simply put it, manufacturers and importers of products are rather forced to have more “responsibility” for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the life cycle — start from product design, material to use, production process, all the way to disposal. Though, it’s not yet enforced here in Thailand but if your company sells products in countries where such concept is heavily enforced/encouraged, chances are that you will have to take that “responsibility”.

Third, because others do it. Your competitors do it, your suppliers do it, your customers do it. That gives you not much room to navigate your way out of this if as the cost of losing one customer in today’s highly competitive market is too high to ignore (let alone the ever so low brand loyalty).

Now, as we have tried to convince you before that waste should be “managed” and not “disposed of”, and that has a notion of really bringing the systematic change into your operations not just for PR value. Case proven — that’s the only time your financial gains can be accomplished. Below are some distinct examples to give you a glimpse of what change is considered systematic and which is not for you to apply to your organization.

Selling your used paper, PET bottles, other recyclables — NOT

Having segregated bins throughout the building — NOT

Understanding of who generates what waste and by how much per day/month/year — YES

Recognizing revenues from selling recyclables as your “revenues” — NOT exactly. Remember your main business is not selling waste! That’s what professional junk shops and waste handlers are for. If you ever find yourself trying to do a zero-sum game between getting revenues from selling recyclables and financing for initiatives to improve your waste management with that money; you will most likely spend a lot more time discussing ideas than getting the job done to move things closer to your goal. Focus on holistic “VALUE” is key to success here.

Having a system in place to know how much it costs you to have the waste picked up, to know what happens to it — allowing you to be able to change practice — YES

So, this is our step-by-step advice:

  1. Do the math: go through your waste-management related expenses
  2. Know the flow: ask how waste is managed today (all of them)
  3. Pick one thing: most of the time the change that yields highest cost efficiency is the hardest one because it is systematic in nature; BUT that does not necessarily mean it is the most expensive one.
  4. Do the math (again): get estimates of investment required to change and this time throw in other non-financial benefits and try your best to quantify them. SROI (Social Return on Investment) is a straightforward tool to help you do this job. Remember, it’s not about short-term money gain — it’s about sustainability.

GEPP stands for sustainable waste management and we would want (more than anything else) to see companies succeed in taking care of their waste sustainably and efficiently because that’s the only way we see how our waste crisis can be overcome. Please feel free to contact us for project inquiries at geppthailand@gmail.com.

GEPP Author:

Mayuree is the Co-founder and CEO of GEPP. She is passionate in driving the change in how waste is managed for better environment. She is specialized and experienced in implementing transformation programs for organizations and data analytics.