As a business owner, the government’s standpoint on the disposal of commercial waste is clear:
You must: Keep waste to a minimum by doing everything you reasonably can to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover waste (in that order).
Understandably, it’s not possible for a business to prevent or reuse all of its waste. It comes down to recycling and often businesses can’t just recycle for the sake of recycling, you need to be convinced of the actual business benefits.
If your business doesn’t already recycle the majority of its waste and instead sends it to landfill, here’s a few compelling arguments that will make you re-consider your recycling policy.
The cost of sending waste to landfill has been rising steadily over the last few years. In 2017, the majority of businesses have to pay £82.60 (up from £80 in 2015) tax on every tonne of waste that they send to landfill. Businesses are going to steadily pay more to dispose of their waste at landfill and less to recycle.
As we struggle to stay within our ‘landfill budget’ and struggle to hit our recycling goals, sending waste to landfill is going keep getting more expensive and sending waste to be recycled is only going to get cheaper.
Businesses can look to save thousands of pounds per year, simply by recycling their waste rather than sending it to landfill.
Customers are often swayed by how socially responsible businesses are. We don’t need to tell you that it takes years to build a business’s reputation and only moments to bring it down. However, this is exactly what can happen if people decide to take note of a business’s lack of social responsibility and lack of recycling.
Businesses based around social responsibility do very well in today’s modern age. Companies like Toms, The Body Shop, and Ben & Jerry’s all have strong social responsibility at their core and this pays itself back tenfold in business and good PR. Consumers like doing business with – and employees prefer working for – companies they believe in.
Recycling doesn’t necessarily have to be about how to dispose of your waste, it can also be about where you get your materials from. Many products and materials can be produced cheaper when using a recycled material. Paper and aluminium for instance, are both easier and cheaper when recycled and reused than when produced from raw material.
This has the added benefit of products requiring less energy to produce from recycled materials, than raw. Admittedly, it may not be possible to move your production into using recycled materials, that’s understandable. However, businesses can start small by re-using small items like paper where possible.
Overall, a business recycling has minimal repercussions on the day to day running of the business. However, the benefits are paid back over time with money saved on landfill fees, goodwill and PR, and cheaper production costs.
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