5 ways to better manage your business waste

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Every business generates waste and doing so is often unavoidable and on average, waste disposal costs up to 4% of a business’ turnover. To keep costs low and help create a more environmentally friendly waste management process, below are 5 ways you can better manage your business waste.

  1. Eliminate waste where possible

Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate as much waste in the business as possible. Start by taking the time to speak to employees and track the waste they and the business are currently producing. Doing this will help to highlight the current waste streams, meaning a plan can then be made on how they can be eliminated from your processes as much as possible. Keep staff involved in the plans so they can effectively contribute to the waste reduction and recycling efforts.

  1. Go paperless

The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Because of this, it is important we all make changes to reduce our paper usage in the workplace. With systems like cloud accounting and cloud storage now extremely accessible, affordable and user friendly, every business can incorporate ways to better manage a paperless office.

By encouraging employees to request paperwork such as invoices in PDF format, they can then be stored on your computer, eliminating the need to use the printer. As well as this, using digital devices to take meeting notes will further reduce how much paper is being used. Both helping towards saving the environment and money for the business.

  1. Use a waste management company

It is important that all businesses handle the waste they produce responsibly. To reduce the pressure and maximise efficiency, a professional waste management company can be hired to help. As they do the hard work for you, it means you will be able to save yourself valuable time to focus on other parts of your business.

Even more, they will be able to ensure the materials you are disposing of are properly recycled, where possible, meaning you are doing your part to help the environment and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

  1. Complete a waste transfer note for waste leaving your site

When disposing of waste yourself, you must ensure every load you pass to others, or receive, is covered by a waste transfer note. By doing this, it creates a clear audit trail from when the waste is produced up until it is disposed of. The WTN must contain enough detailed information about the waste so that it can be handled safely and either recovered or disposed of legally.

If the information is not detailed enough, it can cause the waste to be mismanaged, leading to the possibility of you being prosecuted. Businesses are still responsible for the disposal of waste even after it has left the premises, so a proper record of disposal is imperative.

  1. Better manage hazardous waste

If your business produces or handles waste that is deemed hazardous in England, your responsibilities of how it is handled will be different from other business waste. Naturally, you will have a ‘duty of care’ to make sure your hazardous waste is not harmful or causing damage in any way; however, you should not treat your hazardous waste yourself unless you are authorised to do so.

Although hazardous waste is most usually found in the construction and manufacturing sector, any business that is also disposing of items such as laptops will have to follow the hazardous waste disposal rules. It is important to note that mixing hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste is illegal.

What are examples of hazardous waste?

  • Asbestos
  • Chemicals including printer toner
  • Oils such as car oils
  • Pesticides

Need more help?

If you need help on the best ways to handle your business waste, contact a waste management specialist who can advise you on whether waste is hazardous and the best way to dispose of it.