Recycle more, spend less: The easy way to cut your waste costs

Everyone knows that a company’s profit isn’t just dependant on generating turnover, it’s also reliant on keeping costs as low as possible.

Waste management is an inevitable service that all businesses, large and small will have to pay for. Waste management fees are based on a variety of criteria including volume & weight of waste, collection frequency and waste type. It makes sense to keep this expense as low as possible without impacting on the efficiency of the service you receive. There are several easy ways to do this:

1.Produce Less Waste

Although at first you might consider that this isn’t feasibly possible, reducing business waste means there will be less to collect, and fees will be lower. This makes financial sense and there ARE ways it can be done. Education of employees is by far one of the quickest ways to see a tangible difference. Moving from a strategy focused on waste disposal, to one that concentrates on waste reduction, has many benefits:

  • More efficient use of packaging and technology can help your business cut costs.
  • The fees associated with waste disposal will reduce.
  • Adhering to environmental regulation will be easier and cheaper.
  • Your brand will benefit from its reputational as an environmentally responsible business.
  • Staff morale and engagement will improve.


To reduce waste volume, the first step will be to conduct a full waste audit. This can either be carried out independently by you, or by your waste provider. Companies such as Cawleys offer free waste audits to help businesses identify where they could make changes. If you prefer to carry out your own audit read how to conduct a waste management audit article.

Following your audit there are several actions all business can take to reduce waste:

2. Preserve the paper

Whilst recycling paper is great, the best option is to use less in the first place. Improvements in technology now allow us to write, edit, share and sign documents with no printer in sight. Foster a paperless attitude among your colleagues, print double-sided, use the “Print Selection” function, and consider a ‘think before you print’ message on your workplace applications.

3. Buy in Bulk

Individual items mean more individual packaging to fill up your business bins. Buying items such as coffee and tea, sugar, cleaning supplies etc. in bulk results in less to throw away once usage has taken place.

4. Lose the cups

Hot drinks vending machines with integrated single-use cups produce an extremely high volume of completely un-necessary waste. These cups are expensive to buy and bulky to dispose of so getting rid of them completely will help your company save money.

5. Cherish the china

Now you’ve saved money by ditching the single use cups, could your business benefit from investing in crockery? Real mugs and plates are nicer to use and kinder to the environment. Ask everyone to be responsible for washing the items they use.

6. Re-use mantra

Encourage employees to re-use binders, folders and anything else that has second life potential in your organisation.

7. Reward with reusables

Set a waste reduction goal and offer an incentive of a re-usable water bottle with your company’s logo on it. Or ask people to pledge to recycle more and provide re-use cups and bottles as prizes. There is a small cost associated, but you’ll cut down the number of plastic water bottles in your waste, promote wellness, and get free advertising when they carry their water bottles outside the office.

8. Become filter fanatics

Consider installing a water cooler, filter tap or a large water pitcher in the fridge. This will mean colleagues can pour a glass of water rather than buying a bottle and contributing to the plastic dumped in your bins.

If your business is more focused on manufacturing, rather than office activities, there is even more you can do. Reusing rinse water in cooling systems, minimising spills and leaks with sealed systems and replacing old equipment are some of the actions that can be taken to reduce waste in manufacturing.

Increase Recycling Rates

It goes that without saying that even if we all do our best to reduce the amount of waste we produce, it is impossible to eliminate it entirely. This is where recycling really comes into its own. Firstly, all businesses should consider if they can re-use any of the waste they produce. If this is not possible then it is vital to put sorting and segregation into action.

Essentially, all recycling is dependant on keeping the various materials separate and as clean and dry as possible. Sending waste to landfill is steadily increasing in costs and to avoid this cost being passed on to your business, you can opt to segregate and recycle. Recycling companies can recover a portion of the cost they incur by collecting your waste, by selling the materials they recover. Therefore, they will often charge less to collect recycling that has been pre-segregated than they will to collect general waste. (Anna is this correct?)

All types of waste can be recycled. From paper, card and plastic, to food, coffee grounds, electricals and glass, the options available are far reaching. Indeed, according to the Food Waste Network up to 90% of ALL waste could be recycled.

Running an active recycling programme in your work place could save your business significant amounts of money. Waste management companies such as Cawleys can provide an array of bins to make segregation and collection of different recycling waste streams as easy as possible.

There are many ways to make recycling work in your organisation, Cawleys will allow you to opt for a bespoke mix of recycling bins so that you are able to recycle as little or as much as you like. For example, you may want separate bins for plastic, paper or glass. Alternatively, catering businesses may choose to have food recycling bins, coffee cadies or coffee cup collectors.

These bins should be clearly labelled and rolled out with an employee education programme so that everyone in your business understand the importance of following the recycling rules and the benefits it can offer to your business and the wider environment.

How much can my business save?

The exact figure that can be saved by altering waste management processes differs dramatically according to the nature of your businesses and the techniques you employ.

Manufacturing and healthcare businesses for example may be able to save significantly more than and office-based organisations. However, according to WRAP, the true cost of waste can be up to four percent of turnover for UK businesses of which 1 percent can be saved at little or no costs.

With this sort of saving on offer why not book a FREE waste audit today to see how much you could cut your waste costs by?



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