Why recycle your business waste?
The true cost of waste is up to 4.5% of turnover. Avoiding expensive landfill costs by recycling more could save you money.
Environmental Benefits of Recycling
Reduces greenhouse gases such as methane, produced when biodegradable material is landfilled.
Saves raw materials and energy. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 15 watt low energy efficient bulb (equivalent to a 100 watt normal bulb) for 24 hours.
Save raw materials, meaning less virgin resources are used, preserving the environment for future generations.
Tips to reduce waste include:
- Set your printers to automatically print on both sides, reducing paper waste
- Reuse scrap paper for notepads
- Use re-usable mugs rather than plastic or paper cups
- Refill printer cartridges
- Sign up to the mailing preference service to reduce unwanted mail
- Reuse boxes, envelopes and packaging material
Once you have reduced your waste as much as possible, think about who may be able to reuse it.
Strong boxes and packaging material may be of use to people moving house, or someone who does a lot of online selling – why not offer them on an online waste exchange site. Furniture and electrical items may be suitable for reuse – why not offer them to a local charity shop or furniture reuse group. There are also organisations in Somerset who refurbish computer equipment for charities and people on low incomes.
There are a number of scrapstores in Somerset, some of whom offer free collections from businesses of clean, safe, waste materials that would be suitable for art and craft projects such as paper, card, textiles, foil, leather, wool, foam, plastics etc – contact them to see if you are producing anything they can make use of.
Your legal responsibilities as a business
It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that the waste they produce is correctly disposed of and the business should make sure that any contractor used is correctly licensed to handle that waste via the Environment Agency web site.
Duty of Care
All businesses, no matter what size, should have a trade waste agreement with a registered waste carrier or take their refuse to a site licensed to accept trade waste; they have a duty to ensure that any waste produced is handled safely and within the law. ‘Duty of Care’ applies to anyone who produces, imports, transports, stores, treats or disposes of waste from business or industry.
Businesses must ensure that:
- All waste is stored and disposed of responsibly
- Waste is only handled or dealt with by people or businesses that are authorised to do so or delivered to a site licensed to take it.
- Records are kept of all waste that is transferred or received for at least two years
For more information on Duty of Care and your responsibilities see right Waste, right Place at www.rightwasterightplace.com
Pre-Treatment of Waste
Since October 2007 updated Landfill Regulations now mean that no commercial waste can be disposed of at landfill unless it can be demonstrated to have undergone a treatment process.
The simplest way to provide this treatment is to separate waste for reuse or recycling. This can be done at source by the business, or by your waste collection service provider, which may incur additional costs.