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  ISO 14001 And Other Environmental Specs
  Waste Management

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Author Topic:   Waste Management
Alan Greatbatch
Forum Contributor

Posts: 17
From:Neuch‰tel, Switzerland
Registered: Sep 1999

posted 09 April 2001 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Greatbatch   Click Here to Email Alan Greatbatch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am at present working in Switzerland as Quality Manager for a small electronics manufacturing company. We have just gained ISO9001:2000 and would like to comply and gain certification for ISO14001. I have just made enquiries with the local authorities about disposal/recycling of separated waste (paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, printer cartridges, batteries etc.)Well, batteries we can take to the local supermarket. All the rest we will have to pay a contractor to collect it. I have spoken to a few local contractors and the tell me that they will collect it, put it all together again and burnt because there is not enough capacity in Switzerland to recycle all the separated waste.
So, where do I stand with an auditor if I told him this story and said it would be a pointless exercise to separate waste?

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Alan Greatbatch

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Pilot
unregistered
posted 09 April 2001 02:27 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Alan!

I think your local contractors are honest regarding "they will collect it, put it all together again and burn it". There must be somebody, who can handle this in Switzerland. If not try to find a contractor in the neighbourhood (Austria, Germany, lichtenstein, Italy or France). If you are going to implement ISO 14001 you have to keep in mind that your company must comply with the legal requirements. When it comes to finding a new contractor then it is up to the company how much they are willing to pay.

Best Regards
Monica

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Alan Greatbatch
Forum Contributor

Posts: 17
From:Neuch‰tel, Switzerland
Registered: Sep 1999

posted 10 April 2001 04:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Greatbatch   Click Here to Email Alan Greatbatch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your comment.
The problem is that we are only a small site (35 people)and our weekly waste wouldn't fill a small van. Also Switzerland is not part of the EU so your suggestion would mean taking waste across an international border on a regular basis. The closest border is an hour away, the logistics and the cost would not justifiy the end. Of course we could separate the waste and let the problem lie with the subcontractor and turn a blind eye but I don't really think that is in the spirit of the standard.

Alan

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Randy
Forum Wizard

Posts: 228
From:Barstow, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 1999

posted 10 April 2001 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randy   Click Here to Email Randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What does the law say? The spirit of the standard also mentions abiding by legal requirements. If recycling is not a viable or economic option, then legal disposal is.
Can you control what your contractor does? If you cannot, and the contractor is within the law, you have no problem.

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Alan Greatbatch
Forum Contributor

Posts: 17
From:Neuch‰tel, Switzerland
Registered: Sep 1999

posted 10 April 2001 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Greatbatch   Click Here to Email Alan Greatbatch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am trying to find out the legal situation and also some advice from the environmental agency but it seems half the population is on holiday this week.

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matthew evans
Forum Contributor

Posts: 25
From:England
Registered: Mar 2000

posted 23 April 2001 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for matthew evans   Click Here to Email matthew evans     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WHAT HAVE YOU SPECIFIED AS SIGNIFICANT ASPECTS. IF THE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL OF WASTE PAPER IS NOT SIGNIFICANT THEN YOU WOULD BE JUSTIFIED NOT TO INCLUDE DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES. JUST ENSURE THAT YOUR PROCESS FOR DETERMINING SIGNIFICANCE WILL STAND UP TO 3RD PARTY ACCREDITATION

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