Effective Waste Management Strategies for Small Business


A challenge often faced by business owners across Britain is installing effective waste management procedures — to ensure that you are disposing of waste ethnically and at a cost that suits you.

According to the CIPS, waste what businesses throw away can cost 4-5% of overall turnover — exhilarating to 10% of a company’s gross profits in extreme circumstances.

If organisations are not willing to put the time and effort into deciding how they dispose of their waste in the correct manner, this cost could break a business. 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.

Business duty
In line with UK legislation framework, companies across Britain have a big responsibility when disposing of waste. The requirements that you should meet are broadly as follows:

  • Adopt the Waste Hierarchy principles 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 website.
  • 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.

Organising waste and storing it effectively
Storing waste securely is essential for any business, and to do this you should:

  • 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.

Disposal of waste
To remove non-hazardous waste from your operations location, completing a waste transfer note or providing something that contains the same information is essential.

If you plan to have waste removed on a regular basis, create a season ticket to account for waste that will be disposed in the future — you must register online with the appropriate services to do this.

Your business and any contractors must:

  • 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 disposing waste in the UK
All companies have a common goal of bringing down external costs, including the cost of waste removal. However, this can be a leap in the dark if business owners are uncertain of how to do this effectively.

Consider segregating your waste and creating a report with the results you find, this will allow you to monitor the materials, volume and cost of the waste you’re producing. 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 all businesses producing waste 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.

Legislation set by the European Union in 2015, the Waste Framework says that those who produce municipal and commercial waste are responsible for effective waste management. They can use a third party to achieve this, but businesses will continue to remain responsible.

There are many reasons as to why a business may need to separate the waste that they have produced and one which stands with the highest ethical standard is whether there will be an environmental benefit or reduce a negative that currently exists.

Measuring waste disposal
Teaming up with waste management providers, such as Reconony, who offer a skip hire service, allows you to use an online system that gives your business an overall view of your waste strategy — showing you the volumes and cost. Through waste management portals, each business can have tailored permissions that help provide them with an overview of waste statistics and management information.

Start by visually assessing how much waste your business produces, monitor how much waste your bins hold before collection to generate an idea of the amount of waste you produce. It could be beneficial for businesses to reduce the amount of waste collections they currently have and from this, they will be setting themselves the challenge of being more thoughtful with what they throw away and this will eventually lead them to make better decisions which in turn, will save them money. They will have to deal with the limited bin space they have for waste ensuring that every decision is important.

Analysing your waste in this way is vital, especially with landfill tax rising — a waste management strategy can help your business save money.

Landfill tax has been at a continuous climb and is expected to rise 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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