Improving opportunities for business recycling services

Establishing cost-effective recycling services for businesses and encouraging firms to generate less waste are key aims in the Government’s Waste Review. It recognises the role businesses can play in improving resource efficiency but also accepts that more support is required to help small firms do their bit.

The Review states that “all businesses should have access to regular, efficient and affordable waste collection and recycling services” in order to increase recycling around the country. The barriers stopping businesses recycling include a lack of facilities or services, the high costs of services and inconvenience, and little knowledge of the available services. Within the business community there remains a lack of awareness of the legal obligations when dealing with waste.

Opening up Household Waste and Recycling Centres to business waste and recycling, at a charge to businesses, encouraging collective procurement of recycling contracts and extending door to door recycling collections of paper, cardboard and plastics to businesses are just some of the ideas under consideration.

The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme, often regarded as a barrier to local authorities offering recycling services to businesses, will be abolished in 2013. And a Business Waste Commitment is being developed with local authorities to ensure appropriate services are available.

In general terms the Government is looking to businesses to:

  • Prevent waste and use resources more efficiently
  • Design and manufacture goods that are more efficient, durable, repairable and recyclable
  • Explore business models that don’t use so many resources – leasing, servicing, upgrading
  • Reuse products and materials, recycle where not
  • Take greater responsibility for the products placed on the market, from design to disposal
  • Promote sustainable procurement through supply chains
  • Send less waste to landfill

In 2012 it will produce guidance for businesses to report corporate environmental impacts, complimenting guidance on how to report on greenhouse gas emissions. This will include waste minimisation, water use, impacts on natural resources and biodiversity and be consistent with international guidance.

Waste prevention lies at the heart of the Waste Review, with a Waste Prevention Plan to be completed by the end of 2013. Support encouraging businesses to produce less waste include:

  • Creating a Waste Prevention Fund – to support organisations to undertake waste prevention activities, managed by Wrap
  • Encouraging and facilitating the expansion of SME Waste Minimisation networks
  • Developing waste prevention toolkits and training courses

Businesses wanting further advice and information on implementing recycling schemes or help in improving their resource efficiency should contact


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