Recycling is important for the environment because it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill and reduces the need to use new raw materials.
Recycling is the third-best waste management option after reducing your waste and reusing your waste. This is because energy and resources are needed to reprocess the waste before the materials can be used again.
However recycling is a good option for many types of business waste, and your need to maximise the benefits which recycling waste can offer your business and the environment.
Recycling best practice
Best practice tips for recycling include:
- Buy products that can be recycled - only 7.5 per cent of all office waste, including paper, is recycled but 70 per cent could potentially be recycled.
- Separate waste that can be recycled from other waste.
- Check the cost of recycling - it could be much less than sending your waste for energy recovery or disposal.
- Sell high-quality recyclable materials, for example construction materials - there are an increasing number of uses for recycled materials.
Waste exchanges give price information and quality specifications for a wide range of products - these can include compost, glass, metals, paper and board, plastics, textiles and wood.
Your recycling obligations
You must comply with special requirements for recycling certain wastes, such as:
- Batteries that contain harmful chemicals and metals - these are classified as hazardous waste.
- Electrical and electronic equipment - also referred to as WEEE.
- Fridges and air-conditioning equipment containing ozone-depleting substances.
- End-of-life vehicles (ELVs) - you must send ELVs for dismantling and depollution, and recycle any component parts.
- Packaging - you must comply with certain requirements if you produce packaged products, or place packaging or packaged goods on the market.
You must comply with waste legislation if you are recycling or transporting waste, also known as your duty of care for business waste.