The priority in which wastes should be managed is detailed in the waste hierarchy: reduce, then re-use, then recover, then lastly, send to landfill. But in order to prevent waste, you need to understand what type of waste your business produces, so it’s a good idea to start by carrying out a waste audit – which can range from a walk-through to a more in-depth analysis of what is contained in each bin. You will need to establish the nature of the main waste streams collected and which waste streams are separated, e.g. paper, plastics, metals, biodegradable waste. You can then develop a waste prevention plan, which details how you will improve waste management within your organisation.
7 Top Tips for Managing Waste
- Ensure you are familiar with the legal implications of the waste you produce by identifying the specific waste legislation that affects your business.
- Ensure that the person, or company, that collects your waste is a registered waste carrier and that you are issued with a waste transfer note which describes the type of waste collected for disposal, how it is contained, the quantity collected and where your waste will be disposed of. Check that the transfer note includes a declaration that you have applied the waste management hierarchy to your waste. Keep a copy of this note for at least 2 years.
- Analyse the frequency of your waste collection service for value, as the most common charging method for waste removal is a fixed charge per container removed. This means you will be paying the same amount regardless of how full the container is.
- Identify waste minimisation opportunities, where immediate and substantial savings can be achieved by implementing no-cost and low-cost measures. Appoint a waste management champion to drive things forward.
- Produce an action plan for reducing wastes and ensure senior management are committed to it.
- Communicate your successes to senior managers, workers and interested stakeholders.
- Use industry guides, trade association guidance and good practice examples to compare your performance with others in your sector.
Good waste management is fundamental to your company achieving efficient cost savings and will enable you to avoid prosecution. Don’t overlook this important aspect of your business.
Contact us should you require advice.