Posted by: Paul Millican
Recycling is heavily touted as the minimum everyone can do to help the environment. But in the business world – a world full of overheads and hard hitting budgetary decisions – recycling is often overlooked in favour of seemingly more important activities. After all, surely adding another overhead activity to your current roster of outgoing payments is going to raise yet another cost in the business? Not necessarily! This is where a little insight and some words of advice will help.
It has been estimated that waste management is costing UK businesses on average 4.5% of their turnover – with costs hidden in labour, annual increases in landfill tax and so on. However, by reviewing your waste streams, waste management policies and by starting to introduce a programme of recycling, you instantly offset part of that cost by reducing the frequency of collections, reducing the sheer amount you’re sending to the landfill, as well as potentially generating an income stream from your waste.
Of course, this isn’t always enough as there are always further opportunities to reduce costs (didn’t you just know I was going to say that!). A client of mine jumped on the chance to run a recycling initiative within the company and, at first, it was going great – that is, until he realised he was still paying out more than he wanted to be. But before he gave up, we reviewed his waste management and recycling processes together and identified exactly what was driving the cost up.
Whilst of course an instant saving is expected when up against the existing conventional waste management, you must be aware of different proposed solutions, what is actually included in any quote and what the costings provided by various recycling and waste management companies actually mean to your business. As with anything, getting a few quotes together when seeking out a recycling and waste management service provider, as well as checking that any proposal is fully workable and fit for purpose within your business is essential. With recycling for businesses becoming a lucrative market, there are many providers offering any array of solutions with often highly variable prices. Secondly, and quite importantly, ensuring that the recycling policy is upheld internally is an important factor in making recycling work to reduce your overheads. Educating employees and working with them to spot and reduce potential sources of waste will keep your overheads in check and healthy.
In the long run, reviewing your waste management processes and enacting a recycling policy could save your company a small fortune, all whilst helping our planet to breathe a little easier. Cost saving and planet saving – great business sense!
For help with reviewing your waste management costs, feel free to enquire about our Business Health Check.