Sustainable management of business waste can sometimes seem daunting, but by taking a few small steps, you can save your business money and improve your environmental credentials.
Good reasons to minimise your business waste include:
- Reduced waste collection and disposal costs – By finding ways to reduce waste, your company can reduce its operating costs.
- Reduced resource costs – By reducing waste, your business could use fewer resources, saving money.
- Improving your reputation – Customers, financial institutions, employees and suppliers have a growing interest in a company’s environmental performance: waste minimisation will show them how effectively and efficiently you control operations.
To see an example based upon the redistribution of food that would otherwise go to waste, see here.
The Waste Hierarchy
Businesses or organisations that produce or handle waste have a responsibility to follow the waste hierarchy. The waste hierarchy describes the most environmentally friendly way to manage waste material in order of preference, and has the potential to help you to unlock financial savings:
- Prevention – The most preferable option. By preventing waste from occurring in the first place, we can save money and cut waste. The sort of practical steps that can be taken will depend on your business type, but by way of example, an office based business could go paper free, or print documents double-sided. This would reduce the costs of buying paper, and paying for its eventual disposal.
- Reuse – Reusing objects or materials is another great way to avoid costs, whether it’s simple steps like replacing paper cups with reusable ones, or seeking to form relationships with other companies to reuse materials; bodies such as the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) help businesses to explore cross industry resource efficiencies.
- Recycling – Recycling waste materials is usually cheaper than disposal, so introducing recycling to your workplace saves money as well impressing clients. Details on local authority trade services are provided below.
- Other recovery and disposal – Usually the least preferable option, sometime disposal is unavoidable.
Your legal responsibilities
All businesses have a Duty of Care for any waste that they produce, which includes safe waste storage and ensuring that the waste is only handled by appropriately licenced companies. The Government website contains a useful summary of a businesses legal responsibilities.
District trade waste and recycling collections
Most of Leicestershire’s district and borough councils offer a range of competitively priced trade and commercial waste and recycling collections. Use the links below to find out more.
- Blaby District Council offer waste and recycling services.
- Charnwood Borough Council- Do not currently offer a trade collection service.
- Harborough District Council offer waste and recycling services.
- Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council offer waste and recycling services.
- Melton Borough Council- Do not currently offer a borough-wide service, however, businesses within Melton’s Business Improvement District can access a trade recycling service.
- North West Leicestershire District Council offer waste and recycling services.
- Oadby & Wigston Borough Council- Do not currently offer a trade collection service.
Alternatively, there are a range of private companies that can offer waste and recycling collection services.
Trade waste disposal
If you use a trade waste collection service, disposal will be included. For occasional or one-off disposal, you can take your waste to the Whetstone Transfer Station (visit the County Council website for a list of charges and to find out if pre-booking is required), to the Gypsum Close trade waste facility in Leicester City (visit this page for information on registering for an account and costs), to a commercial waste transfer station, or you can hire a skip.