Waste Minimisation in Glass Processing - Part 3
Assessing Performance




The third in a series of waste minimisation worksheets by Dr. Robin Kent for Envirowise to help the glass industry reduce costs through waste minimisation.

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Finding hidden costs

The total cost of waste is generally around 20 times the first estimate that a company makes. Most of these costs are hidden and companies simply do not consider them when looking at the cost of waste. A first step in assessing performance is finding the true cost of waste. The 'true cost' of waste is not only the cost of the raw materials but is also a function of how much added value has been put into the product before it is lost from the production process.
For example, if a product is broken in the goods-out department, causing it to be lost as waste, the true cost of that waste will be:

True cost of waste = Cost of wasted raw materials + lost time + cost of utilities used + waste treatment + disposal costs.

To find out the current costs and performance, use the table at right. The information needed should be easy to obtain:

The ‘true total cost of waste’ will probably be between 5 to 20 % of turnover and will come as a shock to many people. The cost of waste is often a deciding factor between not only profit and loss but also between success and failure. A formal waste minimisation programme can save up to 1% of turnover from effective and low cost waste minimisation efforts. These are substantial gains.

If you don’t measure it then you can’t manage it.


Production performance in the glass fabrication and processing industry is often measured by overall output and 'due date'. Using performance measurements directly related to process efficiency and waste minimisation will improve overall control and help to develop good practice.

Examples of performance benchmarks include:

These types of performance benchmarks should be used to monitor internal improvements from the waste minimisation programme.

Next steps

"Waste Minimisation in Glass Processing" Series.

The "Waste Minimisation in Glass Processing" series is designed to give glass processors an insight into how to minimise wasting  valuable resources. The series is being published in Glass Age on a monthly basis and published here after the Glass Age publication. The series is:

Part 1: The Business Reasons 
Part 2: A Waste Walk Around and Action Plan
Part 3: Assessing Performance (This Section)
Part 4: Improving Performance

Part 5: Waste Minimisation Tools


Download the complete series as an Adobe Acrobat file.


Last edited: 11/03/10

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