Here is a top-10 list of actions to get you started on implementing a waste minimisation and recycling programme for your business. If you work through these actions, you will soon realise the business benefits.
1. Make sure you are complying with waste regulations. Check your Duty of Care responsibility, including keeping copies of waste transfer notes.
2. Check that your waste carrier is registered. You can do this quickly by calling the Environment Agency on 0845 506506 and asking for an Instant Waste Carrier Validation Check.
3. Review your current waste management contract. Do you have the best type of contract for reaping the benefits of waste minimisation and recycling initiatives? If not, then renegotiate your contract as soon as you can.
4. Look at what waste your business is producing. You can get a detailed waste audit carried out, or ask your staff to help you make an assessment. You need to know what you are producing and how much.
5. Set some targets for your initiatives. This will give you something to work towards, and will help you to calculate savings and feed information back to management and staff on progress.
6. Look at your purchasing. Are you buying unnecessary products? Check your purchase ledger for items such as stationery products or cleaning fluids that aren't used any more, and remember to specify recycled materials where possible.
7. Talk to your suppliers about packaging. Try to buy products with less packaging, or discuss with your suppliers the return of reusable packaging.
8. Replace single-use products with multi-use alternatives. Rechargeable batteries, wall-mounted soap dispensers and fabric laundry bags for guests will all help you minimise the waste you produce.
9. Start recycling at work. Contact your local council, or look in a business directory, for a list of local companies that can provide you with a recycling service. Start with recycling the heaviest materials, such as glass, paper and cardboard. This will help you make a quick win and reduce your disposal costs.
10. Get your staff involved. Make sure everyone knows about recycling - what can and can't be recycled, where the collection points are around the business and what happens to the materials. This will help you collect uncontaminated material and will also help with staff morale, as they see the benefits of their actions.
Follow these suggestions and, before you know it, you'll be making a big difference to what your business throws away, be making cost savings and be contributing to a feel-good factor for yourself and your staff.
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