Businesses are the biggest producers of waste, which is why more and more businesses are looking for ways to reduce the waste they produce.

Businesses are the biggest producers of waste and can send huge amounts to landfill. This has a massive impact on the environment as well as costs and transportation, which is why more and more businesses are looking for ways they can reduce the waste that they produce.

The government is putting increased amounts of pressure on businesses to reduce their waste levels and to focus more on recycling. There can be penalties imposed on waste, and huge costs attached to its disposal, so finding ways to reduce it can be vitally important a variety of different ways.

There are now some incredibly innovative ways to achieve this, so here we take a look at some of the best tips and tricks to keep the waste from your business as low as possible.

1. Look at your purchasing strategy

The best way to deal with what you remove from your business is to look carefully at what you are putting into it. Make sure that you are only purchasing the things that you actually need and try to make sure you are buying in a way that reduces the amount of packaging where possible, such as by buying in bulk. If you put less materials into your business, it stands to reason that there will be less to waste later.

2. Reuse as much as possible

One very effective way to reduce waste is to buy and make use of things that can be re-used. This might include batteries or plastic bags. These things are typically hard to dispose of or recycle, so giving them another lease of life means that there is much less waste incurred.

3. Ditch the junk

No-one is a fan of junk mail, and most of us consign it to the bin without even looking at it. Making sure that you are removed from any mailing lists that you do not want to be on can massively reduce the amount of paper waste that you accrue. You can unsubscribe for schemes and talk to Royal Mail about being removed from national mailing schemes to reduce this even further.

4. Increase your recycling

Recycling means that very little goes to waste in the end, and there are now more materials than ever that can be recycled. To make this effective, you will need to sort your recycling properly and find different ways of storing it. Most businesses subscribe to a recycling scheme that allows for their recyclable items to be collected regularly and taken away to appropriate facilities.

There are many things that can be recycled including glass, some types of plastics, metal, batteries, bricks, wood, paper, cardboard and food to name just a few. You will need to ensure that these have been separated out and cleaned if required by your collection company.

5. Composting

You might not think that composting would be relevant for your business, but as organic waste still makes up the heaviest proportion on all the waste that we produce, it can be necessary. This can start by purchasing items which are compostable, which now includes many different types of packaging. You can do this by setting up your own composting scheme with bins on your premises or sending materials away to be professionally dealt with. If your business makes use of compost this can save you money, or it can be sold on to others who need it.

6. Look around you

Sometimes we do not realise how much waste we actually produce, so it is good to review this on a regular basis. Take a look around your business at the type of waste that you have and where it has come from. This will help you to identify whether there are ways that this can be avoided, whether you can switch to different brands and whether anything is unnecessary.

It also allows you to see whether your staff are recycling correctly, and if not, come up with new ways to get this message across.

You should also look at how full your bins and compactors are when they are collected. If they are not full to the top, you may want to look at a different collection schedule or invest in smart technology which monitors the waste that you have collected and sends out an alert when the bin is full and needs to be emptied.

7. Go paperless

Many businesses are now making a move towards being paperless in order to reduce the paper that needs to be produced as well as what is wasted. With the increase in the use of smart devices as well as cloud computing, it is now possible to store everything safely and securely using cloud computing. Everything can be shared and accessed through a computer, which will drastically reduce the need to use paper in any context.

8. Measure your waste

If your waste management provider is able to weigh your waste, then ask them for accurate readings. When you know exactly what you are producing, then you are in a better position to reduce it. It allows you to see what reductions you are managing to make, and you can even calculate how much waste is produced per employee in order to challenge the people within the business to come up with their own ways to streamline waste production.

9. Get rid of bottled water

The production of water bottles uses huge amounts of petroleum, and on average, bottled water costs 2000 times more than tap water. By getting rid of bottled water from you business and using coolers, filters and taps, you can reduce a good chunk of waste.

Waste management is an important business. What you throw away is as much of a cost to your business as what you buy, so it needs careful thought and proper monitoring if you are going to reduce it effectively. Our tips can start you on the right track to getting your waste levels down, and in the process saving money and saving the planet.

About the Author
Sarah Vernau is the Marketing Manager at Flame UK, who are an innovative leader in cost containment and the management for all Waste, Energy and Water consuming businesses.

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