Why reduce your business waste?

Waste sent to landfill is subject to tax which your business will pay for as part of your waste collection service charge. The landfill tax rate is £88.10 per tonne (correct at 1 April 2017) and rising each year. You can save paying the tax element of your waste bill if you reduce, reuse or arrange for your unwanted materials to be recycled by a licensed waste contractor or the local council.

It’s not just the bill you receive to empty the bin; other indirect costs and considerations which can make managing your waste very expensive include:

  • Cost of raw materials
  • Handling, storage and transportation costs
  • Staff time and effort
  • Reputation
  • Producing less rubbish in the first place is the best economic option for any business.

Producing less rubbish

Making some simple changes can be a great start to saving money and doing your bit for the environment:

  • Can save you money
  • Helps the environment
  • Could give you a market advantage
  • Can enhance your reputation

Top tips for saving money

  • Talk to your suppliers about your aim as a business to avoid creating waste in the first place. For example, ask them to work with you to reduce packaging materials that may generate waste for your business
  • Explore take back schemes (returnable/refillable systems) or how essential components of transit packaging can be reused. For example reuse incoming packaging and boxes for outgoing deliveries
  • Use rechargeable batteries and refillable printer cartridges and consumable items that will last longer e.g. LED lighting
  • Always print double-sided and encourage paperless business systems (e-working)
  • If your business involves food, think about organising a separate food waste collection or look into composting food waste.
  • Provide ‘doggie bags’ for customers to take their uneaten food home
  • Talk to your waste contractor or your local council about recycling collections in your area
  • Organise separate bins inside and outside of your business to sort and keep recyclables ‘Clean, Dry & Loose’ – ready for onwards collection.
  • Ask before giving customers bags, disposable cutlery, or paper serviettes
  • Stock loose items where possible and avoid over-packaged products
  • Ensure staff have reusable mugs and glasses, not disposable cups
  • Visit the  Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) website, which provides lots of practical advice to help businesses become more resource efficient

Meeting your legal requirements

image of a straw as part of a prohibited circleAll businesses have a legal ‘Duty of Care’ to dispose of their waste responsibly. To find out more visit Recycling and Disposing of your Business Waste.

From 1st October 2020 single use plastic straws, cottons buds and stirrers are banned in England. Guidance on how this applies to businesses can be found here.

'Upcycle your Waste' - Norwich BID European Project

‘Upcycle your Waste’ is a new international three year-project brought to you by Norwich BID and Interreg. This ambitious, Europe-wide project has Norwich as one of only two cities involved representing the UK.

The project aims to get 20% of our collective pre-existing waste stream upcycled. Norwich Bid wants to support your business in reducing its costs, by handling and transforming your waste into new resources. The project is entirely free to participate in, and they are looking for as many businesses as possible to get involved; as it looks at ways Norwich’s business community can reduce it’s impact on the environment,creating a circular economy in the region. 

The first phase of the project will be a 20 minute phone interview, to evaluate your business barriers and drivers for upcycling. In this initial phase of the project, Norwich BID need 100 businesses to take part. The more businesses they can speak to, the better they can plan for how we can use our wasted resources to benefit the community and the planet.

If your business would like to be involved please get in touch with projects@norwichbid.co.uk