Innovation for the waste industry
When I first started in Waste Management, I was still using a Nokia 3310; just let that sink in. We’re talking back when Blockbusters was still in business, Tony Blair was Prime Minister and Channel 5 had only been going for five years. Let me offer even more context for you: MySpace wasn’t even born when I first entered the wonderful world of Waste Management.
I’m a Waste Management heavyweight.
Fast forward twenty odd years to now. My 3310 is in three pieces in the ‘man draw’ (probably still works, mind you). We’re lucky enough to have seen some amazing developments in technology, which has given us the world at our fingertips in iPhones, and Channel 5 seems a bit rubbish now that Netflix has provided us with the ultimate box-set utopia. We’ve traded Blair for Boris; I’m not sure which angle you’d view that from, but we’re highlighting change here – and the changes we’ve experienced over the past 20 years are mammoth.
It’s still totally normal to bag your rubbish and throw it out for the bin men – exactly as it was 20 years ago
So, change can be hugely beneficial, right? You’re probably reading this very blog from your smartphone right now. Well if that is the case, then why is the Waste Management industry so reluctant to keep up with the times?
It’s still totally normal to bag your rubbish and throw it out for the bin men – exactly as it was 20 years ago. And, whilst we might be a bit better at recycling now, we’ve not really seen any real revolutionary innovation being introduced into processes. We’ve got Greta Thunberg, but she’d be forgiven for having bigger fish to fry than focusing solely on how the UK is managing their wheelie bins.
Ok, so I was a bit misleading with my question there, because the truth is that there have been some massive advancements in how waste is handled by waste companies, specifically. We’ve got anaerobic digestion, incinerators, recycling facilities, and a whole range of different technologies designed to capitalise on the waste we produce.
These few things alone have helped to increase recycling levels year on year since 2000. The trouble is, the increase in recent years has stopped – and even started to fall - due to population growth and infrastructure limitations.
Life is really not always about choosing the cheapest option, is it? If it was, we’d all be taking the bus to work!
And, more important than the decline itself, is that the British general public really don’t see any of this. I know the old proverb says ignorance is bliss, but there seems be a huge disconnect in the work being done behind the scenes in the Waste Management industry, and how much the British public really knows about their own carbon footprint and where their waste ends up.
Interestingly, despite the fact that they don’t know much about the industry, most of the public really do care about making the effort to sort their plastic from their paper. The fact that they sign the compliance paperwork from their bin men without really knowing the importance of it is one way to look at it, but they may actually be really interested to know about the technological advancements making their waste go further.
“TA-DAH”, as my son would say; this is where Mercorr can help!.
We founded Mercorr in 2017 with a view to develop an application to fix these issues, and pull - or drag, kicking and screaming - the waste industry into 21st century.
Mercorr Connect is a web application that allows any company that creates, transports or processes waste to connect with one another online to digitise all waste processes.
Companies that produce waste – we call them ‘Creators’ because it sounds better - subscribe to Mercorr Connect, build their company profile and then populate information about the type of waste they produce, allowing them to then create a waste auction. We’re talking eBay but much, much better. For you, obviously, but mainly for the environment!
Companies that want that waste – the ‘Processors’ - are then invited to provide a single sealed bid against that waste auction. Mercorr Connect will then consolidate all sealed bids to allow the Creator of the waste to select a bid that meets all of their requirements. This is hugely important and is broken down by three key metrics:
- Distance: how far will the waste travel?
- Best Environmental Outcome (BEO): how many trees will I be saving?
- Value: how much bang do I get for my buck?
After all, life is really not always about choosing the cheapest option, is it? If it was, we’d all be taking the bus to work!
Back to business
The Creator then accepts the bid and e-signs a contract with Mercorr. To answer the question we know you’ll want answering: we charge a small fee on each successful auction.
From this point onwards, everything – and we mean everything - is digitised and can be accessed via a seamless and user-friendly dashboard on Mercorr Connect. We mean:
- Carbon tracking
- Recycling Performance
- Commercial Documents
The list goes on ...
A couple of things you might be interested in knowing as a Waste Creator:
I am not happy with the service from the Processor, what can I do?
No drama, just re-auction your waste and see what other offers present themselves to you.
I’ve got an audit and need to present transfer notes. How do I do that?
Our user-friendly software means that two clicks is all it takes to have an audit trail at your fingertips!
I’ve got a Management meeting and need to present my figures.
Mercorr Connect has got you. All the data you could possibly need to demonstrate how you are managing your waste is right there on your dashboard.
But Mercorr Connect is not just invaluable to the waste Creators, it’s also a system that brings immense value to the waste Processors, too! The system allows you to filter auctions and bids in a few brief clicks, and you have a great chance of winning a bid if you can remember some important key points:
- Provide a good service: repeat business comes to those who nurture the business they have. But then, of course, you already know that!
- Position yourself close to the Creator: we clearly don’t mean physically moving yourself, but choosing Creators more local to you will give you a far better chance of winning bids!
- Provide the BEO: can you demonstrate how your own processes will positively impact the environment? If so, get talking about it in your bid!
- Stay competitive: Mercorr is hoping to connect thousands of Creators and Processors in the coming years, so staying competitive with your bids will ensure that you’re a Processor who’s taken seriously!
Are you sold? We’re not surprised.
Sign up now and begin managing your waste daily, in the most sustainable way possible!