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1. Conduct a Waste Audit

Regardless of industry or company size, a waste audit is the first step needed to be taken to establish where improvements can be made and how to increase recycling within a business. Waste audits highlight common products wrongfully disposed of, areas within the business where recycling is better than others and highlights cost-effective solutions.

2. Recycling Area

Establish a dedicated recycling area where staff can separate different waste streams effectively. For larger companies, significant amounts of the same waste stream can yield potential rebate opportunities.

3. Keep it together

A common misconception in waste management is that if there are recycling bins, people will use them. This is not always the case if the bins are physically separated across the business. If the general waste is closer, then staff will more than likely use this rather than the recycling bin the other end of the office/canteen. Keep the bins together.

This becomes the dedicated waste area and staff can make the conscious decision there and then.

4. Decontaminate

Food waste in the recycling is one of the most common issues surrounding recycling, not only does it contaminate the entire load, this can lead it to be classed as general waste (the more expensive waste stream).

It also undoes the hard work of all other employees. Ensure food waste is kept separated and placed into a dedicated food waste container or in the general waste.

5. Reduce

Encourage staff to reduce the amount of waste they make where possible. Limit printing to reduce paper wastage, invest in a bean to cup coffee machine instead of the pod machines or instant sachets for the caffeine driven staff.

11. Segregate

A recurring theme is waste segregation, keep food out the recycling, keep recycling out of the general waste. It all weighs up and if the wrong items are in the wrong containers then this also increases the price.

12. Identify waste streams

Following the waste audit, new waste streams could be discovered that can offer rebate opportunities.

13. Elect recycling teams

A recycling ambassador is a proven and successful method of encouraging recycling and proper waste segregation in the workplace. The more staff that are on board, the more this is adopted throughout the entire business. This also enables those in more senior positions to focus on core business activities.

14. Reward/encourage employees

Rewards and recycling incentives are a great method to encourage employees to recycle. As the driving force, not only does this enable you to reach recycling goals but gives a sense of competition throughout the business – regardless of size.

15. Signage

Signage is key when implementing recycling and waste segregation strategies, from the humble high street shop to an industrial giant, every staff member will need help to establish which waste streams go in the correct container.

6. Reuse

Establish a reuse draw for scrap paper if working in an office-based environment. For manufacturers, mugs and branded water bottles could be introduced to staff instead of paper or plastic cups.

7. Recycle

Recycling is a cheaper waste stream, in larger quantities, it also provides cost-neutral solutions through rebate opportunities. As a cost-effective alternative (and an easy) method of reducing monthly costs – why not recycle?

8. No batteries

Batteries in the general waste are a huge fire risk to everyone. If the material it is collected with is combustible, this can cause vehicle fires in the collection fleets or the entire processing plants.

In short. Don’t put batteries in general waste or recycling.

They have dedicated recycling bins available in stores or at HWRCs. Local waste companies can also supply this and collect on an ad-hoc basis.

9. Go paperless

This is not always an option for businesses, but where possible, utilise digital capabilities and reduce the amount of paper used where possible.

10. Donate leftover food

For the food sector, spoiled or rotten food can be sent to composting or AD, however, if food is leftover from the day, considers donating this to local homeless charities and food banks for those less fortunate.

16. Educate

Some more than others would need to understand why their recycling efforts are needed and what happens to their waste to enable them to embrace the initiative. Literature and facts about where their recycling goes is a great method of communicating this across departments.

17. Evaluate suppliers

It may be cost-effective and carbon neutral to source suppliers local to your business as this could lead to reduced transportation costs and improved services.

18. Talk to your local consultants

Local waste management consultants are on hand to help with waste enquiries and provide all you need to know regarding waste management. They are there to guide you through the processes and can answer (if not all) your queries about where your waste goes.

19. Ensure your waste company is fully compliant

Any waste management supplier must hold a waste carriers license and provide all necessary duty of care documentation.

20. Research greener alternatives

Not all waste management companies operate a zero to landfill ethos like Countrystyle and therefore researching waste management companies who can provide the greener alternative could benefit your business.