You can gain a number of benefits from recycling your business waste. However, remember that a waste activity such as recycling uses energy so your priority should be to reduce waste in the first place.
Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of business waste recycling carefully:
Advantages of recycling business waste
- Environmental benefits – recycling business waste means less disposal to landfill and less overall harm to the environment.
- Business reputation – you can attract new customers, enhance your chances of winning contracts and improve customer loyalty by demonstrating your environmental responsibility through recycling efforts.
- Reducing waste costs – managing and handling waste is costly, and reducing the amount of waste you send directly to landfill can brings large savings on landfill tax.
- Meeting legal obligations – businesses in some industries have a legal responsibility for disposal of specific products; ensuring compliance through recycling schemes means avoiding penalties, fines or worse.
- Saving energy – producing some recycled products, eg aluminium uses far less energy than making straight from raw materials.
Disadvantages of recycling business waste
- Best worst option – recycling your business waste may be better for the environment than disposal, however either reducing your business waste or reusing your business waste is preferable to recycling.
- Space for recycling – collection and sorting of waste materials for recycling requires space which may be difficult to find in your business premises – you may be able to negotiate more regular collections with your waste contractor.
- Recycling costs – using a waste contractor to collect waste for recycling will cost your business money, if not to the same level as disposal to landfill; reducing your business waste in the first place will cut down these costs.
- Contamination when sorting – plastic containers in food waste or different materials in glass waste can affect the quality of your recycling collections which can increase treatment costs; it takes time and effort to eliminate contamination.
- Staff buy-in – making a recycling system work for your business requires time and effort to get all employees and management sold on the advantages.
At all stages from production to transport to dealing with recycling waste you should be aware of your duty of care for business waste.
To find a recycling business in Northern Ireland which can deal with your waste materials you can search for a registered waste carrier.