Increasing Savings by Managing Waste from Manufacturing Processes

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Image: © Image’in / Adobe Stock


Limiting operational costs is a key consideration for manufacturers. There are several ways to reduce costs on the shop floor, including:

– using lean manufacturing and six sigma methodologies to eliminate waste from processes and increase efficiency,

– introducing preventive maintenance measures,

– and reducing expenditure on materials.


There are many more strategies that you can use to increase shop floor savings, but have you ever considered the waste yard at the back of your facility?

The waste yard is a reflection of your process performance. The more control you have over your process, the less waste you generate. There is a direct link between waste flow control and cost savings. By reducing and recovering waste and by-products from the production process and operations, significant savings can be made. If waste management is not done properly, you could be throwing away valuable resources and budget. Waste represents paying for something 3 times:

– to buy it

– to process it / turn it into something else

– to dispose of it.


As part of our latest Waste Management Assessment, we looked into waste yard operations, packaging optimisation, and returnable packaging. In this blog post, we will focus on the waste yard operations. For more information on packaging optimisation and returnable packaging, please check out our other blogpost “Redesigning Packaging to Improve Sustainability and Efficiency”.

Our latest Waste Management Assessment was done for a UK automotive OEM and helped them optimise their waste yard operations to save an estimated £571K over 2 years and reduce their annual CO2 emissions by 184 tonnes.


How did we do this?

First, we started with mapping the current state, which allowed us to identify opportunities for waste flow. We designed a new, optimised layout that eliminated non-value-added steps from the process. The new, designated storage locations created a structured, simple flow and led to time and cost savings. Additionally, we looked into future production ramp-up. Specifically, our waste yard simulation allowed the OEM to see the future impact on storage space and processes, as production volumes significantly increase over time.

We also considered adding new equipment to help process waste and boost revenue. We calculated that introducing the roll packer to process wooden pallets would compact the volume that was created by a 4:1 ratio to optimise transport, storage, and collection frequencies. This would provide significant cost savings, as well as a 75% CO2 reduction overall.

As part of the supplier optimisation step, we researched options for a new pallet recycling company. It was estimated that, just by changing the processing supplier and subsequent off-site location, CO2 emissions could be reduced in this process by 71%.

If you would like to discuss how we can help optimise your production facility, please get in touch. We can also carry out a Waste Systems Review, which links up your production and operations with corporate strategy and wider business management objectives. For more information, please contact our Circular Economy team by writing to



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Written by:

Patrycja Papala


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