Waste management experts at Indaver know how daunting it can be for businesses to implement a green policy and recycle, so they have shared 5 ways to help your business go green
Looking after the environment and preventing global warming is a huge topic on everyone’s minds at the moment, with recent announcements and the likes of Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet shocking people into action. However, although there is more action being taken individually, it has been found that 80% of UK businesses don’t recycle and have no green policy in place.
There are so many small changes businesses can make that can have a big, positive impact on the environment. However, many small businesses who already have a lot on their plate, and don’t have the luxury of a specialised member of staff to help them make sense of it all, may struggle to know how they can help. The
Segregate your waste correctly
To comply with TEEP regulations, you should segregate recyclable materials such as glass, metals, plastics and paper where it is ‘Technically, Environmentally and Economically practicable’ (TEEP). For many small businesses, there is not sufficient space nor a sufficient amount of these materials to collect them all separately, so it can be sufficient to have just 2 trade waste bins, one for general waste and one for dry mixed recycling. The latter is where your plastic should go to have a hope of being recycled.
Note that the recycled waste is specifically dry mixed recycling, so this shouldn’t include half a cup of coffee in your recycling bin, or general waste mixed in too – as this will make the entire bin un-recyclable. Your recycling bin will often be labelled with which waste streams are acceptable, this varies from place to place, so check with your collection facility about what their policy allows.
Keeping an eye on procurement can be a great way to manage your waste, because you can avoid buying the things that end up in the bin. Firstly you can buy things with recycled content, supporting markets for recyclates that have been banned for export to China and are looking for a new home. Secondly, buying office supplies that are recyclable, reduces waste that goes to landfill. You can also ensure you only buy what you need, not being drawn into buying bulk lots at a cheap price and ultimately throwing what you don’t use away.
Send it back
Inevitably there is always going to be items and materials that cannot be recycled, however, you can still ensure they’re disposed of correctly. One of the main ways of doing this is checking what can be returned to the supplier. This could include packaging, toner cartridges, gas cylinders and some electronic equipment.
Duty of care
We’ve all seen pictures of waste dumped in fields and lay-bys, some of which was presumably put into a bin originally by someone who thought they’d disposed of their waste properly. As a business, there are ways to ensure your waste doesn’t share the same fate. All waste producers have a duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of correctly. While the duty of care regulations aren’t prescriptive, there are some things you should do as a minimum, for example checking your waste is being collected by a reputable company and whether they have a waste carriers licence. You can either ask them this directly, or you can check the Environment Agency register online.
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