Introducing your waste management strategy as a business

Green Plastic Trash Recycling Container Ecology Concept, With Landscape Background.

A challenge faced by a lot of business owners is being able to effectively manage waste — whilst saving costs by doing so. We’ve teamed up with Reconomy, the UK’s leading outsourced waste management provider of 8 yard skip hire services, to find out how your business can save on expenses:

The amount of waste businesses dispose of can cost up to 4-5% of their overall turnover, according to the CIPS — this can rise to 10% in more detrimental circumstances.

If businesses are not putting one foot forward to reduce their waste disposal spend — it will soon become a more prioritised concern. 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.

The duty of care

Under British law, businesses in the UK have a duty of care and a responsibility to dispose of their waste using the most appropriate methods. 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.

Storing waste in a secure location

Businesses should follow our simple steps to ensure that their waste is secured safely:

  • 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.

Removing the waste

In order to have non-hazardous waste removed from your business site, a waste transfer note must be completed — an alternative can be a document that contains the same information, such as an invoice.

It’s important to register with the correct services to complete a waste transfer note — if you plan to have waste removed multiple times, you can create a series ticket.

Regarding the waste transfer note, your business and the organisation that collects your waste should:

  • 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 cost of waste disposal

After initially seeing the costs of waste disposal, businesses soon look to the best methods of reducing future costs. However, this can be a leap in the dark if business owners are uncertain of how to do this effectively.

The way forward for a business is waste segregation — but to ensure it works, it must be monitored closely to allow you to create a report to see the volume and cost of waste from your business. 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 (TEEP) is something that businesses should know about. 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 Britain is set to leave the European Union, legislation that was put forward in 2015 states that commercial and municipal waste generators are obliged to manage the disposal correctly. They can use a third party to achieve this, but businesses will continue to remain responsible.

The reason businesses may need to split their waste into different areas is to do with the environment — will this have created a benefit or reduce a negative that already exists?

The overall waste disposal

Automated systems have been introduced to help businesses across the country reduce their spend — whilst also giving them a greater insight of their entire waste plan. Through waste management portals, each business can have tailored permissions that help provide them with an overview of waste statistics and management information.

If you would like to evaluate the amount of waste your business produced internally, start by visually assessing how much is disposed on a regular basis (it might be a good idea to begin when your bins are empty, then see how much space you use).

It will allow businesses to have a greater insight if they reduce the amount of waste collections — giving them more of a challenge to save on waste and save the business money overall. They will have to deal with the limited bin space they have for waste ensuring that every decision is important.

Carrying out these evaluations are vital for businesses to save money, especially with the landfill tax on the rise. The landfill tax price is set to rise further to £88.95 from the 1st of April 2018. With the cost of landfill waste rising year or 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.



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BDC 314 : Mar 2024