It’s a good question, especially considering the results of a survey taken last year that concluded more than a third of UK citizens actually backed a system of fines or taxes for businesses that don’t take responsibility for their waste.
For many, the traditional way of getting rid of waste has been to send it to landfill, however as tighter waste regulations and controls come in this practice is becoming increasingly costly.
Here at Central Waste Liverpool we never send waste to landfill. We provide regular, flexible, reliable business waste recycling services across Liverpool and Merseyside.
It leaves most businesses with three options:
- Get your recycling collected regularly by a licenced waste collection service such as Central Waste Liverpool.
- Take it to a recycling facility that handles business waste.
- Trade it, because some waste products can be exchanged or traded with others through apps like the waste exchange or can be donated, offered cheap, or simply reused like packaging materials.
Benefits analysis of business recycling:
There are a number of benefits for businesses that do recycle their waste, and of course there are some barriers too.
The advantages of recycling business waste:
- Environmental – Recycling waste results in less landfill and impact on the environment.
- Reputation and responsibility – People are increasingly looking at the ethics of a business before becoming a customer.
- Reducing costs – Managing and handling waste can be costly, while reducing waste brings financial savings.
- Legal obligation – There is a legal responsibility for businesses to ensure compliance in their waste disposal.
The disadvantages of recycling waste:
- Creating space – A business needs to collect and separate its waste for recycling and this requires dedicating space on the premises.
- Recycling costs – For most business waste, there is a cost for collection and recycling (although this is often less than landfill tax).
- Changing culture – It can take time and effort to shift company processes and people’s attitudes to recycling requirements.
What are the current blockers to business recycling?
Increasingly, the focus looks to be on finding ways to reduce waste in the first place. Clearly there are enormous local, national and global benefits to business recycling in the UK, but that doesn’t always mean adequate systems exist that make it straightforward.
Most businesses will still refer back to the three principal ways of dealing with their waste and seek the best option for their specific waste requirements. But there are still many influences as to why many businesses still don’t recycle their waste products:
It is inconvenient to recycle – One of the biggest reasons for businesses not to recycle is that people still think it takes time and effort to do so.
No incentive to recycle – There are clearly benefits to recycling, the biggest is potential cost-savings, but there seems to be more stick than carrot when it comes to business recycling. For instance, there is a lack of sufficient domestic recycling services from local government and more needs to be done to provide businesses with clear, tangible incentives to recycle.
Paying to recycle – Most businesses generate a lot more waste than domestic properties do, which means they have to pay for it to be collected. The cost/benefit of paying for a waste carrier to collect it requires a waste policy. Just putting in the skip instead is seen as the easy option.
Sourcing a suitable waste carrier – Many businesses consider it difficult to find a reliable waste collector, or don’t know what services they can offer their business.
Here at Central Waste Liverpool we provide regular, flexible, reliable business waste recycling services across Liverpool and Merseyside.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
One big way that businesses are changing their attitudes and overcoming the practical and cultural reasons for not recycling their waste is investing into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In particular this means being seen to do their bit for minimising their waste production and their impact on the environment.
Creating a company recycling and waste policy is a first step in this process and it lets customers see they are committed to operating in an ethical, progressive way. In effect CSR is as much about practical common sense to waste management and recycling as it is to commit a business to being a responsible organisation.
Companies will look at ways they can improve their operations through either reducing waste, reusing it, trading it or disposing of it in a safe and legal manner. If it can be done in a way that saves landfill, reduces environmental impacts, makes positive internal culture shifts and saves money too, then the question of why don’t businesses recycle should be at the very top of an organisation’s business goals. Regardless of how a business deals with waste it must still comply with the duty and care for business waste.