Why Businesses Should be Diverting Waste from Landfill – Part 2
25 January 2017
Last week’s blog provided an overview of why businesses should be diverting waste from landfill. This week, we take a closer look at the benefits for businesses…
For centuries, the UK simply buried its waste, but as space started to run out, attitudes and practices changed fast. As the world became more environmentally friendly, business became keen to demonstrate their commitment to being green. And the introduction of waste legislation in 2011 meant that diverting waste from landfill became a necessary requirement.
Since then, businesses have had to take steps to prevent and reduce waste and, where waste does arise, demonstrate that they have dealt with it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. To do this, each organisation analyses its waste and then draws up a waste action plan – a plan that not only satisfies the requirements of the waste legislation, but also results in benefits to the business.
On-going cost savings
Landfill tax has been steadily rising over the past few years to a figure of up to
£82.06 per tonne of waste. This has made sending waste to landfill one of the most expensive methods of waste management. Employing the alternatives has the dual benefit of making organisations more sustainable and environmentally sound, but also reduces their costs due to a drop in their tax bill.
Cost saving can also be made due to a reduction in requirement for virgin materials, and the possibilities for this are endless. Waste paper, for example, can be turned into paper towels for the toilets. Waste cooking oil from canteens can be refined into biodiesel for heating other locations. Metals can be recovered and reformed for other uses. Using recovered materials can also reduce exposure to fluctuating costs for raw materials that is caused by volatile commodity prices.
If a business can also find solutions like these locally, it can again save them more time and money while they support the local economy.
A big part of diverting waste from landfill is the notion of recycling or reusing materials. After all, if one business doesn’t want it, another might. From that thought comes the opportunity for a business to make money by selling its waste materials to another company. It could even make enough money to cover the outlay for a more expensive aspect of waste management.
The requirement to diverting waste from landfill has also caused companies to think more about their production methods. Improvements could not only save money, but also even generate revenue. An example of this could be a company that uses less packaging for its product. Not only is waste reduced, but customers may decide to buy more of an ‘eco-friendly’ product, therefore boosting revenue from sales. And that brings us onto…
Positive PR opportunities
A company with an improved environmental performance is much more appealing to today’s consumer. Some organisations will only work with other businesses that can prove they have a sustainable business model – and high client satisfaction can only be good for a business, attracting more clients and potential employees with useful skills.
As businesses work hard to divert waste from landfill and enjoy these benefits, a Government report has confirmed an overall decrease in waste being generated and a noticeable drop in the demand for landfill. Action was certainly required – just four years ago it was estimated that UK landfills would be full up by 2018 – and the combined actions of the Government and industry seem to be making a positive impact.