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Waste management guide for businesses

It’s important to have a strong waste management strategy in place as a business – whether you’re a new company on the rise or have years of experience. Knowing how to get rid of waste in a cost-effective way is vital.

The amount of waste that organisations throw away can cost around 4-5% of a business’ overall turnover and can even reach up to 10% of overall gross profits, according to the CIPS.

This cost can become a concern for many businesses if they are not making sufficient attempts to recycle and dispose of their waste in the correct way. With rising landfill taxes, as well as recycling and sustainability becoming a main concern within ethical business principles, creating a reliable waste management solution is more important than ever for any forward-thinking business that is looking to make a change.

Duty of care

Businesses have a duty of care to get rid of their waste according to UK legislation. The requirements that you should meet are broadly as follows:

  • Adopt the Waste Hierarchy principles in order to keep waste to a minimum by preventing, reusing, recycling, and recovering waste where possible.
  • Store or sort waste securely in a safe environment.
  • Complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that leaves the premises.
  • Check to establish whether your waste carrier is registered. This can be done by visiting the official Environment Agency
  • Do not let your waste carrier dispose of waste illegally. As a producer of waste, the legal responsibility for safe and correct disposal falls on you, and not the waste carrier. You have a responsibility to ensure safe disposal through an auditable document trail.

Containing waste safely

Making sure that you store waste appropriately is essential. You must:

  • Use suitable and EU-approved containers to prevent leakage.
  • Label containers in a way which clearly stipulates what type of waste they contain.
  • Use waterproof covers — where appropriate — so that no contaminated run-offs are created.
  • Use lockable containers to safeguard your waste.

Getting rid of waste

For waste that is not hazardous, you will require a transfer note or document (which could be an invoice) when you want to request to remove it from the premises.

If you require a waste transfer note, you must register online with the correct services where you could potentially create a series ticket that will account for future wastage removal.

Your business and any third-party contacts will need to complete the following:

  • Fill in the sections of the note that applies to them.
  • Sign it.
  • Keep a copy for two years.
  • Be able to present it to an enforcement officer from the local council or the Environment Agency, if requested.

Lowering the price of waste disposal

The majority of businesses will have a goal to bring down the cost of waste disposal. However, this can be a leap in the dark if business owners are uncertain of how to do this effectively. We’ve teamed up with Reconomy, the UK’s leading outsourced waste management provider with unrivalled skip hire coverage, who can advise you on how to dispose of your waste properly and put in place a business-wide waste management strategy that can save your business money.

To see the volume, material and cost of any type of waste, you should begin with segregation where you can monitor volumes closely and conduct a report. From this you can set your strategy, highlighting your own targets and goals to ensure the best results possible when it comes to disposal.

Technically, environmentally and economically practicable, otherwise known as TEEP is something that everyone should be aware of. This determines whether a business should segregate and store various types of produced waste within the business premises prior to its collection by a waste management contractor you have teamed up with.

Although Brexit is approaching, European Union legislation that was created in 2015 will likely be adopted in the UK which states that commercial and municipal waste producers are responsible for managing their waste. They can use a third party to achieve this, but businesses will continue to remain responsible.

The reason why separation of waste is with high regard in terms of ethical reasoning is because it could present an environmental benefit and potentially reduce or remove a negative that currently exists.

Calculating the amount of waste

Businesses are now able to see the overall waste plan if they choose a waste management provider that gives them access to an automated system that can present waste volumes and spend. Through waste management portals, each business can have tailored permissions that help provide them with an overview of waste statistics and management information.

Before going down the route of using a waste management organisation for your business, try visually assessing the amount of waste you produce on a weekly basis and see how much space is being used in your bins — from this, you will be able to take appropriate action where required regarding how much waste is coming out of your business.

To save money as a business, and with landfill tax on the rise – using this method could be beneficial.

In April 2014, a tonne of landfill was around £80. By 2018, this is expected to rise to £88.40. With the cost of landfill waste rising year on year, it’s clear that businesses need to ensure that their waste solution system is driven towards recyclable methods to keep the costs of landfill waste to a minimum.

 

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/managing-your-waste-an-overview/your-responsibilities

https://www.gov.uk/managing-your-waste-an-overview/sorting-storing-waste

https://www.gov.uk/managing-your-waste-an-overview/waste-transfer-notes

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/advantages-and-disadvantages-recycling-business-waste

https://www.cawleys.co.uk/teep-waste-legislation/

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69403/pb13530-waste-hierarchy-guidance.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/environment/waste-tips

https://www.cips.org/Documents/About%20CIPS/Develop%20Waste%20v3%20-%2020.11.07.pdf

http://www.letsrecycle.com/prices/efw-landfill-rdf-2/

http://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/waste-sector-creates-6-8bn-uk-defra-claims/

https://www.reconomy.com/portal#benefits

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