Dealing with Commercial Waste at Christmas

The Christmas tree’s up in the office, the party playlist’s finalised, and the winter wind down at work has well and truly begun. But what’s happening with your business waste collections in December and early January? It might not be at the forefront of your mind, but most companies produce lots more rubbish heading into the year end.

It’s easy to forget about the increases and changes to your waste production and collection needs over the festive period when you get into the seasonal spirit (quite literally at the work Christmas party). Reducing how much commercial waste you create in the run-up to the winter holidays makes managing it much easier – which you can learn about in our guides to Christmas waste.

However, we realise you’ll still produce some amount of rubbish, so it’s important you put in place a plan to deal with it effectively. Use the following tips to tackle your business waste at Christmas with ease.

Christmas tree in centre of shopping mall.

Reduce your commercial 
Christmas waste

Preparing for a busy period often means businesses overorder goods and end up with leftover waste in the new year. Do an audit of your orders and waste from previous years for an accurate estimate of how much food, packaging, products, or other items you should order. This can avoid overspending and creating unnecessary waste.

If you’re ordering lots of products or items from the same supplier, do it all in one go to minimise the packaging and fuel used for deliveries. It’s important you consider best before dates for food and have a back-up plan of what to do with any leftovers, so they don’t take up valuable space in your general waste bins.

For companies that don’t rely on ordering goods to operate, you can still reduce waste when it comes to the Christmas party and decorating the office. Everyone likes to overindulge when it comes to festive food and drinks but take a headcount for any event and consider donating leftovers to charity.

Bring forward your 
waste collection dates

Will your business be closed for a few days over the Christmas holidays? Then consider moving your waste collection dates earlier to account for this. It’s especially important when you produce more rubbish during this period to avoid it all piling up and sitting there rotting away on the cold dark days and nights.

Dry waste such as cardboard, paper, and metal is fine to leave in secure bins. Other rubbish like food and general waste is best removed and disposed of before your business shuts. If left in your bins for just a few days they’ll start to smell, creating an unpleasant environment for your staff and customers.

What to do with overflowing bins
four wheel bin overflowing in front of white wall.

Book extra (festive) bins

More merriment makes more waste! It might just be extra wrappers in the office bin from all the festive food being indulged or additional cardboard from Santa (well, Amazon) gift deliveries at work. The amount of waste you produce increases due to greater demand, especially for restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, and shops.

Good planning is vital to deal with any waste increases in an efficient and cost-effective way. This avoids being hit with overweight charges for putting too much rubbish in your commercial bins or facing expensive last-minute removal costs to clear the extra waste created.

Check any data you have about your bin collections from the festive period last year for an accurate estimate of how much extra waste you’ll likely produce. Then use this and any other relevant information to order more bins, bigger bins, or increase your collection frequencies for a few weeks.

Some of the common waste types that increase for businesses around Christmas that you might need to order extra or bigger bins for include:

  • Cardboard recycling – for all those delivery boxes, advent calendars, and decorations.
  • Food waste – leftovers from the Christmas lunch and those extra sweets and treats around the office.
  • Packaging recycling – plastic packaging from extra deliveries and festive food.
  • General waste – non-recyclables can increase such as packaging and food scraps.
  • Glass recycling – drinks bottles from any Christmas celebrations.
Arrange waste collections online

Avoid Christmas contamination

It may be easy to just throw any extra rubbish in your general waste bin or slip paper plates covered with Christmas cake crumbs into your paper recycling and hope they go unnoticed. However, this can cause contamination that may mean the entire load is rejected or sent to landfill instead.

Try and recycle or reuse as many seasonal items as possible that your business finds itself with in early January. Check what’s recyclable and arrange delivery of the relevant bins to separate into appropriate streams. This helps the environment and saves you money, by reducing how much landfill tax you’ll pay to get rid of your festive waste.

Recycle the office 
Christmas tree

Many businesses go fully festive and decorate offices, restaurants, and shops with a Christmas tree or three. It creates a wonderful wintery atmosphere but come early January, what do you do with them?

The best thing to do if you’ve put up an artificial Christmas tree is keep it for next year, providing you’ve got enough storage space. Otherwise, donate it to a charity shop and they should sell it in time for next Christmas. For any broken trees, you might be able to get rid of it sustainably with your commercial plastic recycling – just check the type of plastic.

Replanting or recycling is advised when you’ve had real trees decorating your business. You can find out what to do with an old Christmas tree that’s real in our detailed guide. Just remember to remove all baubles, tinsel, and decorations before you recycle any Christmas tree!

Christmas tree in hair salon with man having haircut.

Plan a low waste 
Christmas party

A major source of extra commercial waste at winter can be caused by the Christmas party if you host it on your own premises. However carefully you plan it’s likely there’ll be some leftover food, half-drunk bottles of beer and wine, and all the packaging that goes with it.

Prepare by increasing the number and types of bins you need and arrange collection the day after the party to get rid of all waste quickly. Glass recycling bins for all the bottles, extra food waste bins, and general waste collections for all the other rubbish created are some of the main priorities.

How to plan a low waste Christmas party

Need a hand with your 
company’s Christmas waste?

Santa may be generous and deliver plenty of presents over Christmas, but he won’t clear up the waste from your work party, decorations, or festive food. That’s where we come in. At Business Waste, we’re experts at arranging waste collections suited to your specific needs, whatever industry you work in and rubbish type you need disposing.

We provide free bins to businesses anywhere in the country – you just pay for collection. Plus, we work on a zero landfill policy, so aim to recycle as much waste as possible to save you money and help you operate in a way that’s as green as the holly wreath on your door.

Find out how we can help and how much you could save on your Christmas commercial waste collections with a free no obligation quote today. Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online for a free quote tailored to your waste needs at any time of the year.

Read our Christmas waste guides
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