A significant amount of waste in the UK is produced by businesses. Nearly 70% of this waste is recyclable; unfortunately, just a handful of the recyclable waste reaches a recycling facility. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure the waste produced causes minimal impact on the environment as possible. Fortunately, many businesses now recognize the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Having a strong recycling program is the first step to demonstrating a business’ commitment to sustainability. This guide is meant to help you learn more about business recycling and how to develop a successful recycling program.
The most apparent purpose is to protect the environment. Recycling reduces waste disposal to landfills, which in turn reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, producing recycled products requires far less energy than making new ones. Recycling also saves you money in many ways. Also, recyclables are tax exempt. Other reasons to recycle business waste includes an improved business image, boost employee morale, your social responsibility, and to meet legal obligations.
How to Set Up a Company Recycling Scheme
Implementing a recycling scheme in the workplace can be especially beneficial. The initial step is to set up a green team. This team will help get everyone’s perspective on what a successful program looks like, and should be actively involved in improving the sustainability within a company. The next step is to perform a waste assessment to determine how much waste you produce and the amount which is recyclable. Then, you’ll need to find the right local recycling hauler – the service that will transport your recyclables to the recycling facility. There are many services available so it’s essential to determine the appropriate one for you. Find out what recyclable items they collect, how frequently they collect, where they collect from, and the charges involved. Following the recycling program being executed, it’s imperative to conduct regular audits to ensure continual improvement and maximum performance of the scheme.
What Can a Business Recycle?
Offices generate a lot of waste that can be recycled, such as paper. While it may seem obvious to mention paper recycling, businesses are still one of the major culprits of paper waste. To make paper recycling easier, place bins in areas with heavy traffic, like by the printer. Plus, you can also recycle electronic waste. Unlike most households, modern offices go through electronics pretty quick. And, with new technological improvements passing each day, tech turnaround happens rather regularly in offices. Electronics contain valuable materials and components that can be recycled. Please also find below a selection of other common materials within companies which can be recycled.
- Ink, toners and cartridges
- Food waste
- Garden organics
The Costs to Recycle
The total cost of recycling business waste depends on a selection of elements, including the type of materials, the amount of waste being recycled, and the price set by your recycling hauler. Start-up costs of a full force recycling program can sometimes be costly depending on how large the business is; however, when executed well, recycling can prove a very beneficial option for your business in the long run. Communicate with a waste specialist to get helpful advice, quotations and an overall understanding of how much it might be for your business.
Recycling Best Practices
It can take a lot of discipline to set up a successful recycling program in the workplace. Be sure to send reminders as some of these practices may be difficult to monitor or enforce. Some of the best practice tips include:
- Buy recyclable products.
- Separate recyclable waste from other waste depending on local recycling guidelines or those of your recycling hauler.
- Check the cost of recycling.
- Sell high-quality recyclable materials such as construction materials.
- Cleanliness is crucial; so, encourage your staff to always rinse out drinking bottles and food containers before throwing them in the bins. Likewise, only clean paper can be recycled. For that reason, grease-stained paper or those used to wipe up food should be thrown in the general waste bin.
Fostering a Green Culture
Recycling is just the beginning of building a green culture within your business. If the program is exercised well, it could mean that your employees also open up to additional eco-friendly initiatives. Here’s how to foster a culture of sustainability:
- Be sure to engage all employees
- Be prepared to invest
- Focus on continuous improvement and keep in mind that slow and steady wins the sustainability race.
- Encourage employees to implement eco-friendly practices by providing incentives.
- Have fundraising days or activities, where proceeds go toward environmental causes.
The benefits of recycling business waste are indisputable. Hopefully, this guide will help you build a successful business recycling program. If you have any questions and would like to speak with a waste expert, please do not hesitate to call or email Dial A Bin.