The importance of regularly reviewing your business waste and how you manage it .
How often does your business review it’s waste disposal strategy?
Do you know how much and what you throw away?
As experts in business and commercial waste management, here at Flame UK we know all too well that regularly reviewing what your business is disposing of, and how, has direct implications for your business, your staff, and your time.
You could unwittingly be spending more than you need to on waste – maybe you have more recyclable waste that you think, or perhaps you are storing up waste because your containers aren’t fit for purpose.
Here are a few reasons why it’s important to regularly review your business waste and how you manage it.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty first! If your current business waste management system is inefficient, it could be costing your business over the odds. If your requirements haven’t been properly reviewed by your provider or you haven’t regularly looked at what you dispose of and how, you could well be paying too much.
Containers and bins that are either too small, too large, too heavy, or being collected too frequently could all be affecting your bottom line.
You and your provider should take time to understand the specific needs of your business. For example implementing a separate recycling and general waste collection could save you money in collections and in landfill tax.
Anything you send to landfill (i.e. anything disposed of in general waste) is subject to landfill tax. Diverting waste that can be recycled, resold or reused could not only save you money but could be a potential source of income.
We helped one business divert their polystyrene to be repurposed into car seats and create an extra income stream – you can read about it in more detail here. Our advisers can help you identify whether you have waste that could be reused to potentially create another income stream for your business.
Reviewing the amount and weight of your waste could also reduce your costs. If your containers are frequently overfilled, you’ll be charged for additional weight or additional collections. Not filling your containers but still maintaining a regular collection is inefficient, too. Check if your provider can provide different containers or an on-demand collection rather than, or as well as, a regular one. Our handy guide to bins sizes can help you work out which size might be suitable.
Environment and sustainability credentials
Are you recycling everything that you could be? You might be surprised how many times your waste can be recycled. Plastics, for example can be only be recycled one or two times but glass and aluminium, almost infinitely.
Some waste materials such as polystyrene can be easily recycled for re-use or repurposed into other products – more environmentally sustainable and, as discussed above, potentially bringing in another source of income for your business.
Recycling isn’t the hassle it used to be and your waste management provider should be able to offer you a separate dry recyclable collection.
Recycling can impact on your costs too – for example if you generate food waste, consider a food collection. This saves weight and bulk in your general waste, potentially leading to fewer collections.
Food waste is collected composted in commercial composter or anaerobic digestors to create biogas and fertiliser. As a by-product, the methane produced can also be used to make electricity, and the remaining product used as a general fertiliser!
There are also plenty of other things that can be recycled – metals, anything from cans to heavy machinery. Even old office furniture, computers, batteries and printer cartridges can be reused or recycled.
Check with your provider – if they can’t recycle it for you then talk to one of our advisers to see how Flame UK can help.
Health and safety
Making sure you review your waste requirements is vital for health and safety. Do you have too much waste, and not enough space? Storing waste because you don’t have enough room in your waste containers, or having overflowing bins poses health and safety hazards, trip hazards and even a fire risk.
If you find that your waste is overflowing or you have to store waste ready for collection, then it’s time to change!
Solutions such as cardboard compactors or balers can reduce the volume of waste by up to 90% so you don’t have to store your waste cardboard or plastics. There are even compactors available for food waste.
For general waste, if your bins are overflowing this is impractical and poses a health risk. If you are regularly being charged for overweight collections or have too much waste for your bins, it might be time to look at changing to larger containers.
Staff wellbeing is paramount for a successful business. Ensuring your waste strategy extends to staff areas is vital to keep the working environment a clean and pleasant place to work, contributing to staff wellbeing and morale.
It is a legal requirement for workplaces to have facilities available for sanitary disposal; and is essential towards maintaining a clean and hygienic washroom for your workforce. If you don’t have a specific washroom service, consider implementing this to make sure it gets done regularly – no matter the size of your business or facilities.
Overflowing kitchen or general bins can cause all kinds of health, safety and hygiene problems not to mention being an unpleasant working environment.
Again, it might be time to review provision – do you need more recycling bins, or a food waste bin? It’s important to make waste disposal as easy as possible for your staff, so ensure that recycling and general waste bins are easily accessible and emptied regularly.
Businesses have a legal duty of care to make sure that any waste they produce is stored, transported and disposed of properly and responsibly.
You always need to make sure that you use a licenced waste carrier. Not only is using an unlicenced carrier illegal, it could also lead to environmental damage and fly tipping, and your business could face a fine if you have used a carrier that has dumped your waste illegally.
In particular if you are carrying out site clearances or one off waste disposals, check that the carrier is properly registered with the Environment Agency and that you are given and keep a waste Transfer Notice.
Of course regularly reviewing your waste requirements is a task that will take some time. However in the long run, your time and energy will be spared by implementing an efficient waste management system, with a provider that you can trust to meet your business needs – for example catering for regular and one-off collections.
New technology could save you even more time – our SmartTrash technology provides real time automated data on when your waste containers are full, even alerting your provider to make a collection.
It can be fitted to any standard compactor or baler and once installed, advises you and your provider when the container is full – no more collections of half-full containers, saving you time and cash.
At Flame UK, waste is our business. We use our expertise to help your business save time, money and stress, implementing sustainable and innovate waste systems that are bespoke to your business.
We recommend that you take time to review your waste system regularly along with your provider or broker and make any changes to help your business be more cost effective, sustainable and compliant. If you would like to know more, please contact us today.
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