Regardless of whether a business is a start-up or a long-running, big-name brand, the issue of ethical and cost-effective waste management is the same.
Waste can bring costs of as much as 4-5% of a business’ annual turnover, says CIPS. At its worst, it can be attributed to around 10% of a company’s overall gross profits. Naturally, these costs can be a worry for many companies, as well as a troublesome reflection of a lack of recycling. Landfill taxes are expensive and rising, and sustainability is a key concern across the world. Companies no longer have a choice when it comes to the correct disposal of waste.
Alongside container hire service Reconomy, we’re here to offer you this guide to everything you need to be aware of when considering your business waste management.
Businesses hold a number of key duties and responsibilities, according to UK legislation and governmental requirements. The requirements that you should meet are broadly as follows:
· Use the Waste Hierarchy principles in order to keep waste to a minimum. This is done by preventing, reusing, recycling, and recovering waste.
· It is your duty to ensure your waste carrier disposes of the waste legally. 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 and sorting waste in a safe environment.
· Ensuring a complete a waste transfer note is done for each batch of waste that leaves the premises.
· Check whether your waste carrier is registered. This can be done by visiting the official Environment Agency website.
The standard for businesses to store waste securely is as follows:
· Prevent leakage with suitable and EU-approved containers.
· Guarding waste with lockable containers.
· Clearly labelling waste contents.
· Using waterproof covers to prevent contaminated run-offs.
Any non-hazardous waste that leaves the premises needs a waste transfer note. You should register online with the appropriate services if you wish to fill in a waste transfer note, or you can create a season ticket for a series of loads that will occur in the future.
You and your waste carrier need to follow the below outline regarding waste transfer notes:
· 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.
Bringing down the cost of waste disposal
All businesses want to save money, and it is possible through correct waste management. However, this can be a leap in the dark if business owners are uncertain of how to do this effectively. The solution is segregation — but to do this, it needs to be monitored closely and a report must be conducted to see the volume, material and cost of the waste. From this you can set your strategy, highlighting your own targets and goals to ensure the best results possible when it comes to disposal.
Keep TEEP in mind — technically, environmentally, and economically practicable. 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. As part of EU legislation that was created in 2015, which Britain is likely to adopt after Brexit, the EU Waste Framework addresses that commercial and municipal waste producers are obliged to manage their waste correctly. They can use a third party to achieve this, but businesses will continue to remain responsible.
Businesses may need to sort and separate waste for a number of reasons, but the main one is often to support environmental benefits and avoid any negative impact.
Gauging waste disposal
Thanks to technology, many waste management providers can use online automated systems to watch the volumes of business waste and expenditure. This gives you, the client, a better insight too. Through waste management portals, each business can have tailored permissions that help provide them with an overview of waste statistics and management information.
A visual assessment of your business’ waste production levels can help you decide on whether or not a waste management contractor is needed. Monitor the bins over a week until they are collected by noting how much waste a bin holds and how full it is before the collection date. 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.
When the landfill tax is on the rise, these sorts of observations are crucial to saving your business money in the long run. On the 1st of April 2014, the cost per tonne of landfill was priced at £80, which increased to £84.40 on the 1st of April 2016, and the 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.