Lean Waste Stream : Reducing Material Use and Garbage Using Lean Principles book cover
1st Edition

Lean Waste Stream
Reducing Material Use and Garbage Using Lean Principles

ISBN 9781482253177
Published September 10, 2014 by Productivity Press
182 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The fact that a process produces garbage is a testament to design inefficiency, and this book explains how to use the nature of that garbage to pinpoint and eliminate those inefficiencies. Lean Waste Stream: Reducing Material Use and Garbage Using Lean Principles supplies an unprecedented look at how to address business waste in a manner that will improve your organization’s environmental and financial performance.

Tackling the problem of business garbage from a Lean perspective, the book maintains a focus on how to minimize garbage in ways that cut costs. It considers the problem of garbage in terms of transportation, inventory, and labor costs—with an effort to connect reductions in garbage production at all stages with lower operating costs and improved productivity.

Explaining how to use garbage analysis as a tool to identify the problems in process flow that produced the garbage, this book describes how to look downstream for options to reuse, repurpose, and recycle garbage to minimize landfill impact and costs. The text includes practical exercises with step-by-step instructions, as well as real-world examples that illustrate how specific wastes have been dealt with profitably by various organizations.

Table of Contents

The Garbage Can
Looking Inside the Magic Box
     Garbage and Wealth
Garbage as Embodied Process Costs
Garbage vs. Material Waste

Getting Rid of Our Waste
Energy Recovery
Downcycling and Upcycling
Recycling as a Last Resort
Waste Avoidance Strategies
Minimization and Prevention

Garbage Auditing
Planning the Audit
Safety for the Audit
Dumpster Diving Safety
Conducting an Audit Autopsy Style
Include Recycled Material in Your Audit
Vacuum Hoses
Hazardous or Sensitive Materials
Garbage Audit Data Collection
Conducting a Live Audit
Ongoing Garbage Monitoring

Interrogating the Garbage
Garbage Interrogation Worksheet

Making Improvements
Improvement Teams
Project Selection Criteria
The Project Team
The Project Charter Tool
Value Stream Mapping
Capturing Garbage on a Value Stream Map
     Garbage and Material Waste Data Box
Building a Baseline Value Stream Map
Mapping Time
Mapping Improvements
Process Mapping Presentations
Making Improvements That Stick

Effective Recycling Programs
Design for Recyclability
The Psychology of Effective Recycling
Sharing the Rewards of Recycling
Waste Sorting and Segregation
Making Garbage Transparent and Accountable
Postconsumer Recycling vs. Material Recapture

Composting Programs and Organics
Food Waste
Plant Waste from Landscaping
Municipal Compost Yards
Plant Waste from Operations
Biodegradable Materials
Edible/Consumable Landscaping

Transportation and Storage of Garbage
Process Improvement and Spaghetti Diagrams
Garbage Compaction
Small-Scale Compactors
Styrofoam Densifiers
Reducing Dumpster Pulls—External Waste Handling Costs
Water in the Garbage
Dewatering Slurry

Reuse and Repurposing
Reusable Containers
Relationship with the Supplier
Repurposing and Reusing Containers
Specialty Markets for Materials
Material Exchange Programs
Virtually Any Waste Product Can Be Reused for Something

Waste Prevention through Design
Source Reduction Efforts
Simplify Suppliers
Purchasing Controls
Compressed Gas Leaks
Preventative Maintenance Practices

Paperwork Reduction
Why Do We Use Paper?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Paper
Active Processes vs. Records Retention
Analyzing Paper Use with a Paper Audit
Records Retention Policies and Document Destruction
Build a Robust Electronic File System
Common Sources of Office Waste Resulting from Paper Use
Reducing Toner Use
Paperwork Reduction vs. Paperless Office

Regulated Waste Segregation
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Defining Hazardous Waste
Measuring Hazardous Waste
Exploring Nonhazardous Alternatives
Regulated Medical Waste
Confidential Paperwork
Waste Hoarding
Training and Information

Afterword: Maybe Don’t Call It Green
Appendix A: Conducting a Garbage Audit at the University of Oklahoma
Appendix B: Norman, Oklahoma, Municipal Compost Facility
Appendix C: Regulated Medical Waste at St. John Medical Center


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Marc Jensen is director of the University of Oklahoma (OU) Lean Institute in the College of Continuing Education where he teaches, coaches, develops materials, and administers programs. He specializes in applying Lean techniques to environmental sustainability and conservation efforts, driving environmentally conscious economic growth. Jensen earned his Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification in 2009. He serves broadly in an advisory capacity on conservation, sitting on several internal OU committees, and as a board member of the Oklahoma Recycling Association. In addition to his work in Lean, Jensen teaches as an adjunct in the music departments for both OU and the University of Indiana.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Marc  Jensen

Marc Jensen

Program Coordinator, University of Oklahoma Lean Institute, University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK, United States

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Garbage is something to which most people pay little attention. When companies like Walmart have focused on their waste they have discovered new profits. Heightened awareness of solid waste in virtually every setting can result in lower costs. Jensen explains the importance of paying attention to garbage and provides the methods for organized evaluation. His work is an excellent resource for anyone devoted to improving an organization’s environmental and financial performance.
—Fenton Rood, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

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