The Importance of Waste Management
Waste is inevitable in every business, but are you managing your waste effectively, and using the correct contractors to remove your waste?
Waste has a two-fold hit on the environment. Firstly, we have the resource depletion associated with the waste generated, and secondly the pollution associated with waste disposal. By managing our waste streams, we can have a huge positive effect on our environmental impact. Not only that but by managing waste effectively we can also have a positive effect financially.
The first step in managing waste in your business is to identify the waste streams. Once you know what you are dealing with you can start looking into how you can use the waste hierarchy to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Simple things you can do to reduce the amount of waste in your business include:
- Only print materials where necessary.
- Buy items in bulk, in concentrate, or in refillable packages.
- Cut down on bottled water.
- Use reusable cups in your break rooms.
- Buy products with less packaging.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
Reducing waste requires businesses to analyse their processes and be more efficient. Ask yourself, can your business use raw materials more effectively? Check if you can utilise recycled materials within your business's manufacturing process. You can also check if your waste can be used by another business as a resource in their manufacturing process.
When it comes to recycling it is imperative that the identified waste streams are segregated. Equally, businesses should avoid mixing hazardous waste with controlled waste. If non-hazardous, controlled waste is mixed with hazardous waste, it is now all classes as hazardous waste. This requires tighter control on disposal and also is more costly to dispose of.
Lastly, it is important that you ensure your business uses registered waste carriers. A registered waste carrier will provide you with a waste transfer note which details what they have taken for disposal and where it is intended to be disposed of or recycled. It is a legal requirement to keep copies of all waste transfer notes for controlled waste, for at least two years. Hazardous waste documentation, commonly known as waste consignment notes must be retained for 3 years. The Environment Agency has some simple steps for all householders and businesses to think about when giving your waste items to someone else to dispose of, whether you have paid them or not:
- Check they are a registered waste carrier. Ideally, they should have a copy of their registration documents on them, ask to see these. You can check their licence number at environment.data.gov.uk/public-register, or call 03708 506506 and we can check for you.
- Get a written receipt/transfer note showing their contact details, a description of your waste and details of where they are taking it.
- Note down the make, colour and registration number of the vehicle that’s taking your waste away.
- If their quote seems too good to be true, it probably is. Get another quote for comparison.
If you need help with your waste management, or any part of your health, safety and environment management system, contact us to find out how we can help you: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01843 6399711.