In the EU, the statistics on waste generation are worrying to say the least. According to a 2017 study, each person generates a whopping 477 kilograms (1,051 pounds) of waste annually, and that is just for private individuals. Businesses inevitably generate even more waste, which raises a serious question: what can commercial entities do to reduce the amount of waste generated and dispose of the existing waste responsibly, without harming the planet? The solution lies in ethical waste management and recycling. A popular initiative among homeowners who want to contribute in any way they can to saving the planet, waste management is all the more important at a commercial level, since businesses generate the most waste. Statistics show that the industries with the highest waste levels are construction, renovation and dry cleaning, but printing and textile manufacturing generate high amounts as well. Commercial waste recycling is the most straightforward solution to this problem and its benefits for both businesses and the environment are unquestionable. However, it comes with specific challenges that commercial entities need to control in order to streamline the recycling process.
What the benefits of commercial waste recycling?
Businesses from all fields and sizes can benefit from the introduction of waste recycling policies:
Helping the planet
Waste is one of the main causes of air, land and water pollution. It affects entire communities both in the short and long term and if it is not kept under control it can have devastating consequences. More often than not, the manufacturing process involves toxic substances and materials that do not belong in nature. If they are not disposed of ethically, they destroy animals’ natural habitats and, combined with climate change, deforestation and illegal hunting, lead to the extinction of many species. Apart from that, there is also the problem of resource depletion. At an industrial level, people consume resources faster than they can renew and, without recycling, they will be depleted within decades. By recycling your waste, you contribute to slowing down resource depletion and, even if it may not look like much now, you are helping the planet.
Save money on the landfill tax
The more waste you send to the landfill, the higher the landfill tax will be. Large enterprises that have factories which generate a lot of waste have to pay a considerable amount on the landfill tax alone. By handling and managing waste responsibly with the help of companies such as Miltek, commercial entities can make considerable savings.
At a global scale, environmental authorities encourage recycling because it saves energy. Making something from scratch requires a lot of energy, which causes pollution and resource depletion. However, by re-using materials, energy is saved. For example, glass and electronic components can be recycled many times and given a new purpose in a different industry.
Improve your reputation
From an empirical point of view, recycling commercial waste is good business. In the past years, both customers and investors have started to value ethical initiatives such as waste recycling and they prefer business who are trying to help the planet. Businesses that recycle are perceived as more reliable and conscious, which ultimately leads to higher profits and increased investor interests. As an added benefit, people who are passionate about protecting the planet are more likely to stay loyal to environmentally friendly employers and be more productive in the workplace.
Create a better working environment
No matter in what category it belongs, waste does not create a pleasant working environment. On the contrary, it disrupts employees, lowers their productivity, not to mention that it can be downright unhealthy. However, a carefully chosen baler, compactor or recycling bin is much cleaner and stores waste in a safer way, so that workers do not come in contact with it.
How to control recycling challenges for increased efficiency
Regardless of the type and amount of waste you produce, recycling is not an option, but a necessity. However, it can become challenging, especially without proper training, so it’s important to know how to do it.
Recycling bins, balers and compactors cannot be placed in a random on-site location. They require a space of a certain size, preferably away from the location where production takes place. This may be a problem for small businesses that operate on small premises, but they can negotiate with the recycling company to pick up the waste at smaller intervals.
More often than not, businesses do not generate only one type of waste. They can generate more, such as plastic, glass, paper, organic materials and chemical substances. In this case, the company needs to instruct workers on how to sort waste and how to dispose of it safely.
Waste management and recycling costs are often invoked as an excuse, but even though hiring a dedicated recycling company costs money, the benefits outweigh the costs. First of all, the long term financial benefits clearly exceed the flat rate required by the recycling company and secondly, many local authorities offer incentives and rebates for business who invest in recycling, so you can get a return on your investment.