Waste disposal

One of the points at which the Toyota production system, designed by Taiichi Ohno, focuses on the elimination of waste. The concept of waste must be identified, in order to distinguish it from cost, in such a way that we define waste or waste as excessive, superficial, non-value-added, and unnecessaryly eliminated. 

Cost reduction, unlike waste disposal, often requires considerable technical effort, and substantial changes or decisions that change process conditions or characteristics, so that a measure such as changing equipment with lower KW/h consumption can be considered as a cost reduction; in turn, a measure such as the ignition control of the luminaires, so that the lights are turned off when there is sufficient natural light, will decrease the consumption of KW/h, and can be considered as the elimination of a waste.


Taiichi Ohno, Japanese expert who created the Just In Time or Toyota production system, identified within his production methodology that existed in the processes, a series of waste that was frequently detected, in such a way that he classified them into seven groups, which he called: The Seven Wastes, these are:

  1. Overproduction: Overproduction is considered to be manufacturing not in line with the quantities demanded.
  2. Wait: This waste involves both passive personnel and inactive machinery.
  3. Transportation: Handling and transfer of materials or documents that do not add value are considered waste.
  4. Operating waste: Performing unnecessary activities and/or making use of unhealthy machinery or tools.
  5. Inventory: Obsolete units (materials, spare parts, product), excess stock, or intermediate storage.
  6. Unnecessary movements: Whether unnecessary or uncomfortable are considered wasteful.
  7. Defective Products: These are products or services related to claims, warranties or rejections.

Over time, the underutilization of intellectual capital has been considered, i.e. the non-use of the intelligence, imagination and creativity of all the people of the organization, as an eighth waste.


It is recommended that the dynamics for the elimination of waste from the organization be integrated with a Kaizen program, making use of its systematic methodology of analysis and problem solving involving staff, and with a criterion of minimum investment, through continuous improvement.


It is important that the scenario or tools in which the identified waste can be recorded are constantly open and available to staff so that they can be mapped shortly. In practice, tools such as TPM cards are used, through which waste is identified by any worker and delivered to a TPM management manager, who watches over the solution of waste. Another procedure that usually takes place is the comment and contribution wheel to identify waste.

Whatever tool is used there is a cross-cutting technique of support in the identification, analysis and causal solution of waste, this is the “technique of interrogation”, through this technique we can conclude quickly about the existence and real cause of waste.


The important thing for an efficient waste removal dynamic is its express solution and the inclusion of staff at all stages of improvement. That is why, depending on the technique used in the identification methodology, the person responsible for the corrective action and the deadline for verifying the outcome of the measure will be duly recorded.

It is common for identification and disposal work to be carried out by area, as is it often that areas with a greater number of minor improvements through the elimination of waste are predicted as an incentive for participation.

Waste disposal
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