Commercial and business recycling isn’t always straightforward; we take a look at how to get started
The problem of plastic pollution has captured the public’s imagination, thanks to the heart-breaking visual evidence of its impact on the natural world in documentaries like Blue Planet II and A Plastic Planet.
That growing consciousness led us as individuals to stop using plastic bags, to swap to reusable water bottles and coffee mugs and to get serious about our recycling.
And businesses have a huge role to play in reducing waste and recycling at the office. In fact, it’s been estimated that up to 60% of rubbish sent to landfill each year could have been recycled.
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, you have a duty to dispose of waste safely and responsibly. And when done right, recycling can help you save money and reduce your environmental foot-print. Win-win.
What can my business recycle?
It often costs more to send waste to landfill than it does to recycle, so start saving money in your business by recycling:
- Cardboard and paper such as packaging, stationery and post
- Food waste, including tea bags and coffee grounds, food scraps and out-of-date items
- Glass items such as jars, lightbulbs, glass bottles and larger glass items like windows
- Metal, including aluminium, steel, copper and tin
- Plastic bottles and different types of packaging
- Wood like timber, pallets, splintered parts and even furniture you don’t have use for
How to get started with commercial recycling
A great place to start when planning how your business can start recycling is to do a waste audit to identify the type and amount of rubbish your business generates.
Once you know what you need to dispose of, set out clearly marked bins for the various types of waste from the list above. If your bins are kept outside, make sure they are covered to stay dry and to stop the waste from blowing away in windy conditions.
All waste – both general waste destined for landfill and recyclables – must be legally disposed of. Do your research and only use a licensed waste carrier for any recycling you send away and be sure to complete a waste transfer note so everything is properly documented.
How to increase your business recycling
With the opportunity to cut costs, save money and reduce your environmental impact, the only question that remains is how to kick-start your organization’s recycling efforts.
- Make it easy to recycle by providing the right bins and clearly communicating what items should be placed in each one
- Be bold with your recycling ambitions by setting targets and updating staff on your progress toward your goals
- Encourage your staff to participate and educate them as to the importance of recycling at work and in the home
- Make it fun and engaging for staff to get involved with incentives for the department or team that can recycle the most or by doing a community clean up at your local park, river or beach
- Set a strong example by buying recyclable goods or items in bulk whenever possible