Are you guilty of wasting your waste at work? If you are, you're not alone. Businesses that are guilty of wasting their waste probably don't realise how this is hurting their bottom line, let alone the environment around them.
So, what is waste crime?
In the strictest of terms, it is the illegal management of waste. But, I'm thinking more about the financial implication of poor waste management and as it's such a hot topic right now, the moral implications too.
Here are a few stats for you;
- Nearly half a million tonnes of recycling was dumped in landfill or incinerated in 2017*.
- General Waste (landfill / incinerated) typically costs 40-50% more than correctly separated recycled waste.
- Despite being sorted into containers, around 4% of recycling is treated as general waste - usually due to poor waste separation and subsequent contamination. Whilst we may be more eco-aware, stats show that we're not getting any better at how we manage our waste. Back in 2011 only 1.74% of our recycled waste ended up in landfill or incineration.
Admittedly, these stats include domestic waste, but as we're unlikely to manage our own waste any differently when at work, it's pretty easy to see how businesses could be helping others to commit waste crime.
Here's how you can help educate your workforce - whilst saving money on your waste costs.
Remove all under desk waste paper bins and replace with a central or communal recycling system. It doesn't have to be fancy, although fancy ones are available. There literally is a recycling bin for every situation, ocassion and budget nowadays so those adverse to recycling are running out of excuses.
Fewer bins = less resource emptying and re-lining. It also equals less clutter. Communal recycling systems are becoming increasingly popular as brands wish to improve their green credentials (and profits).
#2 - Deposit Schemes - bottles, cans and cups
Big brands such as Co-Op and Iceland back the bottle deposit scheme in a bid to reduce plastic waste. Even the Environmental Audit Committee believe that bringing back a bottle return scheme will improve our plastic bottle recycling rate from 57% to 90%.
As always, with every positive story, there are negative comments such as shopkeeps claiming bulky deposit machines would take up valuable retail space and would be unhygienic.
So, what does all this mean to you and could we go one step further and recycle more than just plastic bottles.
As a nation, us Brits throw away;
- 2.5 billion single-use cups every year
- 35 million plastic bottles every day
- 51 tonnes of aluminium cans each year
- Reduce your waste volume by 90%
- Reduce the number of bins you need
- Reduce your waste emptying costs
- Reduct the costs associated with internal handling
- Reduce associated management costs
- Reduce waste transportation costs and CO2 emissions
- Be easily programmed to become your very own bespoke deposit-return scheme - thus helping to improve your CSR and recycling rates at work
- Snuggly fit into any corporate office, break-out area, staff restaurant, cafeteria, university or school, canteen or public areas such as train stations - the same height as your standard vending machine but only 400mm wide
- Clean itself with its automatic internal sanitisation
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