Waste Minimisation for Business
Every business produces waste. Waste producers across Scotland are being asked to extend their Duty of Care to ensure waste is minimised and recycling is maximised. Since January 2014 the Waste (Scotland) Regulations have required every businesses and organisation across Scotland to take all reasonable steps to apply the Waste Hierarchy to their products, services and operations.
Waste minimisation is not an additional part of recycling; the key to successful minimisation is prevention - not producing the waste in the first place. The hierarchy image below shows the options for managing waste in increasing preference for the business.
Legal compliance - Through environmental legislation, producers of waste are ultimately responsible for its disposal, so you need to know and be able to document where your waste is going − be it recycling, composting, incineration or landfill.
It's easy - Reducing, reusing and recycling at work is straightforward and easy to do. It's easy to use less, reuse what you can and separate out materials to recycle from your other waste.
Saves money - Business rates do not include the cost of collecting and disposing of your waste. Landfill tax costs are expensive, currently £80 per tonne with an incremental increase every year. By reducing the amount of waste your business produces, and reusing, refurbishing and recycling as much as possible, your business can save money.
Meets legal obligations - As a waste producer you are responsible for managing your waste in a responsible manner. The range of legislation that affects your business will depend on the type of waste you produce and the sector you work in.
It's good for the environment - Reducing, reusing and recycling at work will help you reduce the environmental impact of your business. Managing your waste in a sustainable manner will mean a diversion away from landfill to more environmentally preferable options. By minimising waste you are reducing the amount of raw materials used.
Enhances the reputation of your business - Reducing your environmental impact through sustainable waste management can improve your reputation and corporate image with customers, employees and external stakeholders. It can also give you a competitive advantage when pursuing business opportunities.
It feels good - The feel good factor is undeniable. Ask your staff if they would like to do their bit, we are sure you will be encouraged by the response.
Here are a few simple examples to minimise waste paper in offices and retail outlets:
- Ask your staff to 'think before they throw'. Someone else may want to use it.
- Before printing multiple copies, print a single copy. Check this copy for errors.
- Cancel unwanted subscriptions to avoid paper accumulating.
- Check to see if fax machines, photocopiers, and printers are programmed so they do not produce unwanted header or report sheets.
- Encourage single spacing of documents. Reduce font sizes and margin sizes wherever possible.
- Send email memos instead of sending paper copies.
- Set photocopiers and printers for automatic two-sided copies and make sure this is the default setting.
Re-use is when you can use an item again without going through the recycling process.
- Have a stationary amnesty which to encourage colleagues to clear out the “secret stash” of pens, pencils and staples
- Return consumables like toner cartridges where possible
- Re-use padded postal bags (add a new address label)
- Shredded paper and newspapers can be reused for packaging
- Use cups, mugs and glasses rather than disposable plastic and paper cups
- Use waste paper as note paper
- You can always sell on an online auction or use freecycle
- You can pick a charity and recycle the company's old mobile phones. The charity can receive a small amount of money in return
Our Commercial Waste Officer can work with you to implement an effective waste prevention program, and put in place a fully integrated and compliant waste management system. If you are interested in our services and support, please email us and arrange for our Commercial Waste Officer to contact you with further details, or to arrange a free visit, and to provide you with a no obligation quote.