It’s the season to spruce up and clear out, and your waste management strategy is no exception.
While the origins of spring cleaning are debated, the practice has long been prevalent in several cultures, and for many in the UK, it is the perfect time for home improvements after the hangover of Christmas and New Year.
The routine can often stretch from home to work, with business owners pinpointing the quieter period before the Summer-rush as the optimum time for enhancements.
One improvement that is often overlooked but could vastly benefit businesses is a spring clean of their waste management strategy.
Reaping financial and environmental advantages, it’s the ideal time to implement the changes ahead of the bulk of the year.
This sentiment is undeniably only reinforced amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, with many businesses only now beginning the process of reopening after lockdown.
What is a Waste Management Strategy?
While it may sound daunting, especially when likened to the sometimes arduous task of spring cleaning, a waste management strategy is simply a plan of action for the disposal of business waste.
Because of landfill tax, trade waste collections are charged by weight in an effort to incentivise businesses to improve their waste management strategies.
And, as environmental issues become more and more evident and topical, it is unsurprising the government charge has continued to rise annually.
This means that general waste is the costliest method of disposal.
How to Spring Clean it, and why
The first phase of spring cleaning is identifying what needs to be done, and a waste management strategy is no exception.
Conducting a waste audit, which is a review of the waste produced and practices regarding it, will help identify areas of improvement.
Once the audit is complete, a business will have all the necessary information to guide the strategy.
A useful approach, alongside the findings of the audit, is to consider the Waste Hierarchy, as per The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.
Not only is this good practice when improving waste management, but it is in fact a legal requirement – meaning a business must do all they reasonably can to prevent waste as a priority, followed by reusing, recycling, recovery, and, as a final resort, landfill disposal.
Therefore, identifying areas where waste could be prevented in the first place is key to a successful waste management strategy.
Whether this be ordering less stock, or opting for reusable over disposable, there are ever-growing options available to businesses looking to become less environmentally damaging.
Next is the idea of reuse, which is defined as checking, cleaning, repairing, and refurbishing, whole or spare items.
While the concept of this may seem difficult for businesses to integrate into their waste management, it could be something as simple as upcycling furniture instead of wholesale renovations, or creating a new dish on the menu from leftover foods.
Italian fashion house, Gucci, focus their sustainability efforts on the notion of repurposing, having upcycled 11 tonnes of leather scraps in 2018.
And, an often overlooked and traditional example of reuse is milkmen recollecting and reusing glass milk and juice bottles.
So, it may be easier to incorporate the idea into everyday business life than at first thought.
Recycling is another central aspect of effective waste management strategies, proving both environmentally and financially beneficial, whether it be via dry mixed recycling, glass, food waste, or a combination of all three.
With clear benefits to the environment, businesses are also able to reduce their landfill taxes by recycling, and particularly in the case of recycling food waste, reduce the weight of their bins.
While separating waste with additional services will incur an initial cost, savings will be made in the long term.
Of course, recycling can be difficult to implement into a business, and requires practice, cooperation and encouragement from all staff at all levels.
But, as with traditional spring cleaning, the best results do not come from one deep clean but through establishing good habits for the remainder of the year.
CheaperWaste can help you implement your new waste management strategy, fill in the form below for a free, no obligations quote from our friendly team.
If you still aren’t sure what strategy would suit your business, complete our quick and easy service recommendation form to see what we would suggest will work best for you.