How to manage waste as a business
When entrepreneurs start planning their company, the last thing they think about is waste management. However, this can be costly if not done correctly and prove to be a challenge to business owners across the country who have no experience with waste disposal.
Waste management is one area that business owners must consider when starting out, as it can account for 4-5% of a company’s overall turnover — businesses could experience highs of 10% of gross profits.
If employers do not want to act appropriately and ethically when disposing waste, these fees can be detrimental to their business. With rising landfill taxes, as well as recycling and sustainability becoming a main concern within ethical business principles, creating a reliable waste management solution is more important than ever for any forward-thinking business that is looking to make a change.
A business’ duty of care
Organisations throughout the UK have a responsibility to effectively dispose their waste — staying in line with guidelines set out in UK legislation. The requirements that you should meet are broadly as follows:
- Adopt the Waste Hierarchy principles in order to keep waste to a minimum by preventing, reusing, recycling, and recovering waste where possible.
- Store or sort waste securely in a safe environment.
- Complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that leaves the premises.
- Check to establish whether your waste carrier is registered. This can be done by visiting the official Environment Agency
- Do not let your waste carrier dispose of waste illegally. 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.
Securing waste as a business
Businesses are responsible for storing waste to ensure public safety, they should:
- Use suitable and EU-approved containers to prevent leakage.
- Label containers in a way which clearly stipulates what type of waste they contain.
- Use waterproof covers — where appropriate — so that no contaminated run-offs are created.
- Use lockable containers to safeguard your waste.
Removing waste from your business site
Businesses that want to remove the non-hazardous waste that they produce must complete a waste transfer note — an alternative that could be used is an invoice that holds the same information.
To fill out a transfer note, whether this is a singular or a series which allows you to account for many loads in the future, you must register with the correct authorities.
Your organisation and any sub-contracts must:
- 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.
How to reduce the costly removal of waste
Reducing external cost for waste management is a goal that businesses should have. However, this can be a leap in the dark if business owners are uncertain of how to do this effectively.
To discover how much material and what type of material you’re using, start segregating and monitoring regularly. From this, you can set your strategy, highlighting your own targets and goals to ensure the best results possible when it comes to disposal.
Businesses that produce waste must be aware of TEEP — 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.
Businesses in Britain, which produces commercial and municipal waste, is required to manage its waste responsibly — according to the Waste Framework set out by the EU. It can use a third party to achieve this, but businesses will continue to remain responsible. There are many reasons as to why a business may need to separate the waste that they have produced, and one which stands with the highest ethical standard is whether there will be an environmental benefit or reduce a negative that currently exists.
How much waste are you producing?
Teaming up with a waste management company will allow your business to have a greater insight on the waste you produce, showing the volumes and cost. Through waste management portals, each business can have tailored permissions that help provide them with an overview of waste statistics and management information.
To test the waters of how much waste your business is producing, and before going down the route of using a waste management contractor, it might be worth visually assessing how much waste your organisation is disposing on a regular basis. 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’s important for businesses to test the waters by reducing the amount of waste collections and see how much time it takes until there is too much waste in your bins — this can lead executives to make better decisions when disposing. They will have to deal with the limited bin space they have for waste, ensuring that every decision is important.
Landfill tax over the years has been increasing, so carrying out these assessments are essential to ensure a smooth business process in terms of waste management strategies.
By 1st of April 2018, landfill tax will raise to £88.95. With the cost of landfill waste rising year or year, it’s clear that businesses need to ensure that their waste solution systems are driven towards recyclable methods to keep the costs of landfill waste to a minimum.
This article was brought to you by Reconony, which has an unrivalled skip hire coverage that can help your business save money.