Rethink your waste – it’s a resource

As the Landfill Tax increases again next month, it’s a good time to review how much waste you’re generating and find ways to cut costs.

The Landfill Tax will rise another £8 to £64 per tonne on 1 April, in line with previous budgetary announcements, and is on top of the charges paid to actually dispose of the waste. In the last year there have been more regulatory pressures to ensure businesses just don’t throw everything away, including rules under the revised Waste Framework Directive that state companies need to demonstrate how they have considered the waste hierarchy when disposing of waste.

The waste hierarchy, which has waste reduction at the top, followed by re-use and recycling, means that under the new rules you now have to show that you’ve thought about whether you need to use materials or products in the first place. Measuring the amount of waste that’s generated in your business will indicate areas where you can cut down or eliminate entirely, saving not just on disposal costs but also the purchase price in the first place.

For most of us the paperless office failed to materialise so a useful exercise is to calculate how much paper is used on a weekly basis in printers, photocopiers and fax machines. A simple review of the costs of paper and ink cartridges will demonstrate how much is used. Compare this to how much paper is left at the photocopier, put straight into the bin because a document was printed twice or only printed on one side. A quick calculation should show where you can make savings.

How much of this paper was necessary?

Photo: nuttakit

When larger products come to the end of their life for your business, could someone else benefit from them still? There are many groups and organisations that find second homes for products, so that items like computers or furniture can be re-used rather than thrown away.

If these options aren’t applicable then recycling will save you costs from increased Landfill Tax charges and ensure compliance under the Pre-Treatment Regulations.

In the current climate costs seem to be ever increasing while we have fewer pounds in the pocket. Rethinking the way we view our waste – regarding it as a resource – automatically implies it has some sort of value, either to you or to the person who can find another use for it. It’s time we started to think more along these lines, to ensure our finite resources go much further and to improve efficiencies across our businesses.

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