Effective recycling solutions are now on the agendas of more and more businesses across the UK. From deciding which materials you will recycle through to ensuring employees are fully up-to-speed with the changes and are committed to supporting a business recycling scheme, it can be a tricky process to get up and running.
Below is a step-by-step guide to getting started with your business recycling scheme.
1. Know the rules
If your business isn't recycling at the moment, the probability is that it should be. There are regulations in place which are there to ensure businesses are not sending too much waste to landfill. The 2010 Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme is currently limiting the amount of waste which businesses can send to landfill and ISO40001 standards exist to lessen the impact of business waste on the environment. Landfill taxes are rising by the year and the cost of your business not recycling could well be more than the cost of recycling.
2. What will you recycle?
The kind of waste you are recycling will often depend largely on the type of business you have. The majority of businesses will produce large amounts of paper waste and office based staff will generate daily bottles, cans, cardboard and general waste.
If you're a company which generates a lot of glass, metal or textile waste, you'll want to consider factoring in the costs/benefits of adding these to your business recycling plan.
Frequently, used computer equipment and food waste can be forgotten about when recycling. If your business has cupboards filled with old electrical equipment or you're churning out masses of food waste which could possibly be composted, don't forget to include all this in your plan.
3. Choose the right bins
When you've assessed and agreed upon which materials you'll be recycling, it's time to purchase the correct business recycling bins for your needs. Obviously you'll want to ensure that different bins are clearly marked for each material. A variety of colours are available in most current recycling bin systems and you may also want to consider purchasing stickers to clearly identify each bin.
Remember too, size does matter and if you buy a set of bins which are too small for your business needs, you may find you're having to empty them several times a day. Involving the people who regularly empty your business bins should help to give you a clearer idea of the size you'll need.
4. Involve the staff
It's no use spending lots of money on a business recycling system if your staff aren't going to use it. Putting the bins in a very obvious area where they won't be hidden away is obviously highly conducive to this.
It could still be worth running a small session with your staff to explain how the new system will work and inform them of your expectations. Even if it's nothing more than an email or newsletter, increased awareness can always help. These days, the majority of staff will be well aware of how to recycle and will probably be using their own recycling bins at home.
5. Where does it all go?
Lastly, it's no good carrying out the first four steps if you have no idea what's going to happen to your recycled materials at the end of the day. This is where you'll really need to do your research. There will be local companies who specialise in business recycling and you may need to use more than one of these for collecting your recyclable waste. Consider what happens to the waste when it's taken by each company and satisfy yourself that you are happy with the arrangement. Many recyclable materials can be sold and actually earn you some money back.