How to reduce waste

As environmental concerns grow and businesses seek to lower their costs, reducing the levels of waste they produce has become increasingly important.  For homeowners too, the threat of environmental degradation has meant that reducing the amount of waste they send to landfill has become an important goal.  But as a business or a homeowner, how can you begin to effectively reduce the waste you produce?  After all, with a number of daily concerns to concentrate on besides waste disposal, finding the time to draw up effective waste management strategies can be a challenge.

With the challenges of effective waste disposal and management in mind, here is our guide to reducing waste and costs for your business.

Tackling your business’s waste at source

In order to effectively reduce the amount of waste your business produces, it essential to begin your efforts at its very source.  This is the original material you buy before it becomes waste.  Buying wisely in the first instance is the first step towards reducing waste, so if you are serious about reducing your business’s waste this is where to begin.

There are several simple but highly effective steps you can take.  These include:

Purchasing products wisely – This applies to both businesses and households across the UK.  Avoiding pointless purchases means that you avoid creating pointless waste.  Taking a more frugal approach to what you buy, ensuring you don’t frequently purchase products you simply don’t need, helps you both save money and decrease the amount of waste produced on your premises.  For businesses which buy large quantities of certain materials, buy in bulk.  This not only reduces costs but also reduces the amount of waste which is produced through packaging.

Purchasing products which can be reused – Obviously, products which can be reused, by their very nature, do not create waste.  Therefore, investing in reusable products, such as reusable batteries , and making multiple uses of materials, such as plastic bags, can help you make a significant reduction in the levels of waste you produce.

Stop unwanted mail being delivered to your premises – One of the most effective ways to tackle the amount of paper waste you produce at source is to register with the mail preference service.  Doing allows you to unsubscribe from national mailing lists and so will reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive.  In turn, this means that you will be disposing of less paper waste, reducing the overall volumes of waste you dispose.

Following this guidance should set you on your way to progressing to a more environmentally friendly waste disposal strategy, tackling the source of your waste and easing the burden of your waste management and disposal requirements.

Recycling

Recycling is a concept with which we are now all very familiar.  Whenever the discussion turns to reducing waste, it is inevitable that the process of recycling will be discussed.  The reason for this, of course, is that recycling is one of the most effective ways of tackling waste.  If you are looking to make a serious effort to reduce the amount of waste that your business or home commits to landfill, it is absolutely essential that you should have a comprehensive approach to recycling in place.

What should you be looking to recycle?  Here is our list:

All paper and cardboard – whether this is in the form of an old newspaper, a cardboard box, junk mail, writing paper or any other kind of paper waste, you should be looking to recycle these materials.

Glass – Washing out glass jars and bottles and then recycling them is a key component of any waste reduction strategy.  However, there are some glass items which cannot be recycled.  These include lightbulbs, window panes, glass electrical items and glass ovenware.

Plastics – If you produce a lot of waste plastic, you need to ensure that you are recycling it to reduce your waste output.  From empty ice cream tubs to shampoo bottles and detergent bottles, plastic materials can be, and should be recycled.

Metal – Metal is another material which is important that all households and businesses look to recycle. Foil, food tins, aerosols and metal lids from containers are all examples of metals that you can recycle

Batteries –  If you aren’t using rechargeable batteries, which is an even better option, then you can recycle the batteries that you are using. All types of batteries can be recycle as part of the recycling service that Business Waste provides, including household batteries and laptop batteries.  We can also help you responsibly dispose of larger batteries, such as car batteries.

Bricks, wood and other building materials – if your home or business has building material to dispose of, make sure that you do not simply throw it into general waste bins.  Instead, these materials can be sorted and reused at salvage yards.  Therefore, it is important to make sure that you implement processes whereby bricks, wood, rubble and other building materials on your site are recycled.

Food – Recycling food is an important step to take for any home or business.  After all, food waste accounts for a large proportion of the waste produced by all of us. Certainly, if you run a businesses such as a restaurant or cafe then recycling food is an absolutely essential step towards any type of waste reduction drive.  All types of food, from fish both raw and cooked to cooking oil, uneaten food, pastries, breads, pasta, rice and more can be recycled.  So instead of throwing food away, take advantage of our food recycling services and decrease the amount of waste you send to landfill significantly.

Implementing procedures at your home or business which ensure that waste is both recycled and tackled at source are key measures in any waste reduction strategy.  However, there are further measures you can take to make a truly comprehensive impact on the amount of waste you produce.

Home composting

For households across Britain, home composting can provide a superbly cost-effective solution to dealing with the waste they produce.  On average, over 30% of household bins contain material which could be used in compost heaps rather than thrown into general waste bins.

Making use of this material in compost heaps can help you save money on buying compost in while also helping to reduce the volume and environmental impact of the waste materials your home produces.

Charity Shops

Charity shops provide a great solution for homeowners looking to have a clear out of their old clothes and possessions.  Throwing perfectly good clothes and toys that you no longer use into bins is extremely wasteful.  Instead, look take these items to your local charity shop, where they will gratefully be received.

Doing so ensures that your old possessions can still be enjoyed by others and helps you make sure that you are not needlessly contributing to the volumes of waste that your home produces.

Dealing with Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste can be tricky to deal with, and you may be resigned to the fact that it is not possible for your home or business to deal with hazardous waste in a way that contributed towards a waste reduction strategy.  However, this is not the case.

While it is not possible to recycle many types hazardous waste, there are ways of dealing with them which contribute towards waste reduction.  Here are some of the steps you can take:

Recycle motor products – While you might not be able to put motor products in your recycling bins, this does not mean that you cannot recycle them.  If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to deal with brake fluid, oils and tyres, take them to your local petrol station.

Containers which include hazardous waste – If you are, for example, using household cleaning products which include material within them that would be classed as hazardous waste, make sure you use all of the substance contained within.  Doing so means that, by the time you come to disposing of the container, it no longer carries hazardous waste.  After cleaning the container out appropriately, you will be able to recycle it accordingly, contributing towards your waste reduction efforts.

Avoid using products which contain hazardous waste – There are a number of non-toxic alternative to products you may buy which are hazardous.  Investing in these, as opposed to products which are toxic, means you can avoid the hazardous waste conundrum altogether, recycling your waste and helping to protect the environment.

Combined together, these steps should help you home or business vastly reduce the amount of waste it produces.  The benefits of doing this are simple and clear: lower costs and less environmental damage.  So if you are looking to implement a meaningful waste reduction strategy within your home or business, following the guidance above will give you the ideal start to your project.