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Mutual benefits boost convergence of cleaning and waste management industries

04 November 2013

When partnerships work they can bring significant benefits to all parties. For example, big brands are keen to associate themselves with celebrities or events that reflect their own values and can offer some mutual benefit. You can’t think about Wimbledon without its high level sponsors, which include Slazenger, Robinsons and Rolex; and celebrity ‘brand ambassadors’ such as Beyonce for Pepsi and Jamie Oliver for Sainsbury’s reflect an image that works on many levels, and appeals to thousands of

The Oxford English Dictionary defines converge as: ‘come together as if to meet or join’. This applies to the examples mentioned above, but it is also increasingly relevant to the cleaning and waste management industries. Although long considered separate entities, these sectors are becoming closer as synergies develop and competition increases. Indeed, many of the big players in facilities management are adding waste management to their business portfolio to sit neatly alongside the more commonly seen cleaning, security and catering services.

The recycling and waste management industry has been at the forefront of technological progress over the last few years, developing ways of harnessing different energy sources and creating new methods to transform even more items, previously thought of as waste, into useful materials. This rapidly growing sector is undoubtedly benefitting from the Zeitgeist, as companies (and consumers) seek to reduce the impact that their activities have on the environment driven both by a desire to achieve cost savings and also to meet the increasingly stringent requirements of environmental legislation.

Being ‘eco-friendly’ is now vitally important to business owners and facilities managers, who need to ensure that the products and services they procure fit in with their CSR ambitions. In this way the cleaning industry is also evolving, utilising equipment and machinery that use less energy or chemicals, and offering added value services such as sorting waste into different streams before the waste management contractor begins their part of the job.

This convergence can only help to develop the growing circular economy – but skills and knowledge development must keep pace to ensure that we have the correctly skilled people to drive things forward. WAMITAB is at the heart of this convergence process, with a long standing track record in the development of waste management qualifications plus a range of qualifications for cleaning, street cleansing and facilities management designed to create a potential bank of talent to meets the changing needs of businesses in the waste management and cleaning industries.  

These industries have a lot to learn from each other, with valuable knowledge and experience to share. As things progress further those involved in skills development must ensure that courses and qualifications complement these two industries, helping to create a more flexible and effective workforce.

Written by Chris James, CEO of WAMITAB.