Business recycling might seem like just another outgoing when you are considering the most cost effective management scheme for implementing your business plan. However, whatever business you’re in – whether you operate a childminding or dog walking service from home, are a mobile food trader or mechanic or have your own office, factory or workshop premises – you are legally responsible for disposing of any waste your business produces.

Law covering recyclable waste for business

Complying with waste disposal regulations has a price – and so does breaking the waste disposal law. Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 all businesses have a ‘duty of care’ – that is, a legal obligation, to manage their waste and dispose of it properly. Under section 33 of the EPA 1990, failure to do this means a potentially huge fine of up to £50,000 and criminal proceedings leading to up to five years in prison.  This law is enforced by the Environment Agency. So, whether your waste is removed by a commercial contractor, you take it to a licensed trade site yourself or choose to investigate options for business recycling - there will be costs involved.

Cutting your costs by business recycling

By researching your business recycling options carefully you could find yourself reaping rewards. In our resource hungry society many materials and goods have a value, so recycling your business waste, if conducted carefully has the potential to make you money – or at the very least to be cost neutral.  The actual cost of - or profit from - business recycling depends on a range of factors:

  • the quantity of waste you recycle
  •  the type of waste you are recycling
  •  the material components of the waste
  •  the location of your business

 Before you seek quotes for recycling your waste, calculate how much you currently pay for waste disposal and use this as a benchmark. We recommend you get several quotes to find the best price and service for you, and establish all the components of your waste that can be recycled.  Once you’ve assessed the proportion of your waste suitable for recycling, you can work out how much this will reduce your refuse collection requirement. You should find you’ll be sending less to your refuse service and/or require less frequent collections. When you offset the reduction in refuse collection costs against using a business recycling service, this may well lead to savings overall. Also, consider the value of any unused, excess or unwanted materials you have cluttering up your premises. Instead of disposing of them as waste, there may well be a second hand market for them.

Business recycling app to inform your decisions

So in summary, when accounting for any wasteful practices in your business, it really makes sense to look at recycling. A small investment of your time is a one that can potentially lead to rewards for your business as well as the environment.   To help you manage your business recycling effectively, we have developed the Green Alchemist recycling web app, to empower your business to sell your recyclable waste and make better recycling decisions.