Waste Mapping

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Henque Waste has incorporated techniques from WRAP who has developed the W.A.S.T.E. process to help businesses identify waste and reduce it within their operations and across supply chains (Figure 1). It is based on a problem-solving discipline. Problem-solving disciplines are rooted in continuous improvement and lean manufacturing strategies, and build on established techniques

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Problem-solving disciplines are team-based processes, containing steps to find the problem(s) that are in the way to achieving a goal. In the context of waste prevention, the ‘problem’ is the waste generated at source, either in a manufacturing, retail or hospitality environment, in a total end-to-end supply chain environment, or across part of a supply chain. The ‘goal’ is waste prevention – to avoid generating the waste in the first place.

The steps within the W.A.S.T.E. process enable:

  • recognition of the waste;

  • definition of the waste;

  • understanding of root causes of the waste;

  • development of solutions to the waste; and

  • development of a strategy to prevent and reduce waste, by implementation of a defined and feasible solution.


A simple schematic of the process steps is shown in Figure 2.

Henque Waste assists their clients and explain how to implement a W.A.S.T.E. project.

Scope the project

W.A.S.T.E. projects should be driven by a business need.


Define the scope of activity at a top level - examples of scopes include:

  • known waste streams;

  • waste in production areas; and

  • waste in total supply chains.

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We would assist in quantifying the scope with a level of data, for example define the tonnage and financial cost of waste to the business, in order to prioritise high waste and financial value opportunities.

We make time to physically observe what is happening within the process or supply chain. Value stream or process mapping is an essential activity that should be undertaken to understand the process, identify waste ‘hotspots’, tonnage values and financial implications.

Henque Waste obtains data on site:

Data is key to the whole W.A.S.T.E. process. Comprehensive and robust data are an essential prerequisite for the process to be successful. They can be gathered from a number of sources and all data sources should be investigated, e.g., business systems, off-line spread sheets, supplier data as well as service provider data. How to use the data is explained at each of the stages of the W.A.S.T.E. process outlined below.

Form a team that will investigate the scope, define the waste (the ‘problem’) and determine an objective (the ‘goal’).

Typically, W.A.S.T.E. project teams will consist of individuals working in or impacting on the area of scope. They can be complemented by external expertise such as Henque Waste, suppliers, or service providers. It is also useful to include a team member who does not work in the area of scope who can challenge ‘accepted expertise’. Above all, the team must make decisions and act on facts, and must not be driven by preconceptions or personal perceptions of what the problem is and how it should be resolved.



Team leadership needs to be strong and linked to structured governance. The key role is to provide guidance to the entire team in order for them to meet the objectives of the project.

The Team Leader and Henque Waste Facilitator must unlock and build on ideas the team come up with to resolve problems, overcome institutional barriers on the team’s behalf, if encountered, and assist the team in solution implementation.

Henque Waste’s waste mapping initiative helps us to understand our client’s business needs and we are committed to assist businesses with this process every step of the way and help implement ‘steps to achieving Zero Waste to Landfill.

If you are interested in setting up a waste mapping initiative, please contact us at Henque Waste to obtain a quotation at admin@henquewaste.co.za