Commercial Waste Recycling Guide

Recycling a variety of different kinds of waste is something we’ve been able to do for some time now, so it’s a little surprising there are still many companies operating today without an organised recycling plan. More often than not, they just send their waste indiscriminately to landfill. Given the fact there is increased pressure placed on companies to do more recycling, due to the impact pollution and global warming is having on the planet and we are running out of space at landfill sites, many businesses are only just realising how important recycling is.

If that’s the position you find yourself in, this introductory guide to recycling is for you. It outlines what you can and can’t recycle, the real benefits you can gain from recycling and how to improve your recycling process.

What Is Recyclable?

Although it can feel a little intimidating, recycling doesn’t actually need to be hard. Many businesses produce a staggering volume of waste daily though, which is why many simply don’t pursue it. If you want extra motivation to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem – it is reported approximately 60% of what ends up in landfill annually, could actually be recycled.

For most companies, there is no reason why they can’t recycle one kind of waste. So, if you are looking to take small steps on the path to having a recycling-friendly business, you need to identify the type of rubbish you are generating, so you can figure out what can and can’t be recycled.

Recyclable waste includes the following:

  • Wood – lots of different kinds of wood are recyclable, such as chipboard, pallets, furniture, splintered components, floorboards and timber.
  • Plastics – in the modern world we live in, plastic waste of some kind is generated by most businesses. Most plastics can be recycled, while only a few can’t. Packaging and bottles are recyclable, whereas polystyrene, bubble wrap and other similar plastics are not.
  • Metal – most metals used today are recyclable, such as tin, copper, cast iron, steel and aluminium. The great thing is different types can be recycled together, eliminating the need for separate, additional containers.
  • Glass – almost all glass can be recycled, including coloured and clear. Cookware, light bulbs, windows, jars and bottles are just a few examples of recyclable glass items.
  • Food – all kinds of food can be recycled. Out of date fruit, veg and other food, food scraps, peelings, scrapings from plates, ground coffee beans and tea bags are some of the most common recyclable food items. The only thing you need to be careful of is that milk and other liquid waste can’t be stored for recycling with solid food because it can leak out and cause messes.

5 Great Reasons Why Your Company Should Recycle

Has your company avoided recycling? If so, there are many great benefits you are missing out on and we don’t just mean with regards to saving the environment. There are direct advantages to not simply dumping everything in the landfill.

  • Lower Carbon Footprint – perhaps the most obvious one, but still worth highlighting. When you send all of your commercial waste to landfill, without trying to sort and organise it at all, you are causing pollution and global warming through the release of carbon dioxide and methane, so-called ‘greenhouse gases’. When you recycle, you divert your commercial rubbish away from landfill tips and help the environment.
  • Lower Expenses for Consumables – when you recycle consumable products like ink cartridges, batteries and older electronic and electric equipment, you can often use it to leverage better prices on new items. You will find several schemes out there that reward you with discounted prices on new items when you recycle older ones.
  • Better Reputation – when you make a concerted effort to recycle and have plans in place to go greener and more eco-friendly, you can greatly improve the public perception of your company. This could mean you can maintain the customers and clients you currently have, and also interest and attract new ones who are looking to buy from and do business with a company that cares about the world we live in.
  • Improved Morale Among the Workforce – you will probably find many of your staff already recycle a lot away from work. When you establish new recycling practices and equipment to help staff recycle while at work, they are bound to feel more productive and enjoy working for you more.
  • Financial Gains – it may sound a bit strange at first, but when you increase the volume of waste you recycle, you can actually make serious financial gains. This because you are reducing the amount you would normally spend on commercial waste management.

How Your Business Can Organise, Store and Get Rid of Commercial Waste That Needs Recycling

So, you know now why you should recycle. How do you actually do it? Your company is legally responsible for organising, storing and getting rid of recyclable waste. This is referred to as your company’s Duty of Care. To adhere to this you must:

  • Organise your commercial waste into separate and clearly marked up and labelled containers or bins (though it is important to note some recyclable items can be stored together)
  • Carefully store your recycled waste in containers in a secure area at your workplace
  • Make use of waterproof covers to keep it all dry and so you can prevent lightweight recyclable waste like paper and cardboard from getting blown away.
  • Always use the services of a licenced waste carrier to recycle your commercial waste. Licenced waste carriers have the required permits from the EA legally allowing them to transport your recyclables from your premises to other locations.
  • Fill in a Waste Transfer Note – you need to do this every time you want commercial waste that’s recyclable removed from your workplace. In this legally-binding document, the materials that are being recycled are fully outlined.
  • Make sure the licenced waste carrier only uses licenced waste disposal facilities, like composing sites and recycling plants. Fly-tipping incurs a big fine and can even carry a prison sentence.

What is the Cost of Commercial Waste Recycling?

In general, it costs considerably less to get rid of recyclable items than general commercial waste. Therefore, when you increase the volume of waste you recycle, your company can save money and boost profits.

The majority of companies normally hire a waste management firm to collect and get rid of their commercial recycling waste regularly. Prices vary from one company to the next and depend on the size of the bins you are using to store the waste in.

5 Great Ways to Increase Your Commercial Waste Recycling

  • Involve Your Staff – the best way to recycle more as a business is to involve everyone, from lower-level staff upwards.
  • Educate Your Staff – you will find some employees don’t appreciate the advantages of recycling. It’s up to you to explain the benefits and how you can save money while reducing the impact the company has on the environment and improve your brand’s reputation.
  • Set Challenging Goals – most people are driven by rewards, so an easy way to get staff on board with recycling is to incentivise it. Set challenging goals offering your staff great rewards for achieving them.
  • Invest in Lots of Recycling Bins – when you give your staff easy access to clearly marked out recycling bins and points, they are more likely to participate in recycling commercial waste.
  • Invest in Recyclable Goods – work on the solution at the source and pay closer attention to what you buy for your company. Always look for recyclable options, where possible.

All that’s left to do is to find out the best commercial waste quotes for recycling.

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