Recycling For Manufacturers

Recycling For Manufacturers

England’s waste generated from commercial and industrial sources – including the manufacturing industry – has been over 30 million tonnes every year since 2011, and up from 29.7 million tonnes in 2010.

As of 2016, it stood at 32.2 million tonnes for England alone, with close to 10 million tonnes from elsewhere in the UK based on previous years’ figures.

While it can be difficult to put an exact and accurate figure on this, it is clear that the correct collection, disposal and recycling of industrial and manufacturing waste has the potential to deliver many millions of tonnes of equivalent waste diverted away from landfill.

Disposal is not always easy, due to the types of materials sometimes used in manufacturing, and the mix of different materials that might be present in any one product or generated waste stream.

But with Gaskells on your side, we can make sure to carry out a comprehensive and expert waste audit, identifying all of the different types of waste materials you generate and finding cost-effective solutions to their disposal, with the highest possible rate of recycling and reuse.

What are the benefits of recycling for manufacturing businesses?

A deliberate focus on recycling can have a whole range of positive impacts for manufacturing businesses:

  • Positive PR opportunities and improved public perception.
  • Positive impact on corporate social responsibility and environmental responsibility scores.
  • Cost advantages through reduced consumption of resources.
  • New business opportunities with buyers who only specify products with eco credentials.
  • Better price security against changes in commodity plastic pricing and other materials.

This is particularly the case where plastics are concerned. As everything from a raw material to an everyday form of packaging, plastic is present throughout manufacturing, industry and our home lives too – and offers some of the best opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle:

  • Reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfill sites.
  • Reduce consumption of oil in producing new plastics.
  • Reduce energy consumption in manufacturing from raw materials.

Businesses with particularly high exposure to plastic manufacturing and waste should make sure that this receives the right level of attention when compiling waste disposal and recycling strategies, to maximise the cost savings and eco-benefits of tackling plastic waste.

Duty of Care and Hazardous Waste Regulations

There are several different regulations that apply to manufacturers and other industrial organisations, including the Duty of Care to ensure waste materials are stored safely and securely before disposal.

Gaskells can help with this, providing you with the right number of containers, of the correct type and size, so that all of your manufacturing waste can be stored appropriately until your scheduled collection date.

We can also recommend suitable methods of disposing of certain types of hazardous waste that might be encountered during manufacturing activities:

  • Asbestos.
  • Cathode ray tubes.
  • Chemical wastes.
  • Fluorescent light tubes.
  • Infectious healthcare waste.
  • Lead acid batteries.
  • Oils (including sludge/slurry).
  • Solvents.

Naturally, hazardous waste disposal in the manufacturing industry involves some extra requirements, including certain legal and regulatory responsibilities to ensure the waste materials are handled safely.

By employing a specialist contractor like Gaskells, you gain our expertise and access to our experienced team who can safely collect and remove hazardous materials from your premises.

In turn, we work with hazardous waste partners whose disposal facilities are fully compliant with government guidelines – giving you a complete documented paper trail when disposing of these materials.

How can manufacturing businesses be more eco-friendly?

It’s not just about the amount of waste you generate – your total eco-footprint will depend on the types of waste, including specific types of plastic, how you store it, how you use and reuse it, and how you dispose of it.

A good waste disposal strategy must take all of these aspects into account in a joined-up way. For example, there’s no point storing specific plastics separately, unless you arrange a professional collection service that will also transport them away individually.

Some of the specific types of plastic you may encounter in the manufacturing industry include:

  • HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
  • LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)
  • PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
  • PP (Polypropylene)
  • PS (Polystyrene)
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

Gaskells can help you to identify which plastics are most beneficial in terms of recycling, and which are hardest to process – by reducing your consumption of the latter and prioritising the former, you can improve your environmental profile quickly with little change to your processes.

Other approaches for more eco-friendly manufacturing

As in other industries, reduce, reuse and recycle are the key words to remember. But as a manufacturer, anything you do can be amplified right down the supply chain, through intermediary suppliers, retailers and end-users, so each improvement you make in your own practices sets a valuable example to others.

Some more things you can try include:

  • Reduce your own use of packaging to help the supply chain as a whole to reduce waste.
  • Reuse clean packaging materials and focus on recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Make sure recyclable materials are always clearly labelled so customers can keep them separate.
  • Keep hazardous waste and other contaminants away from clean recyclable materials.
  • Make sure you have enough containers of the right size and type for recyclable materials.

There can be direct cost benefits to doing all of this – for example, having a smaller quantity of hazardous materials rather than contaminating your general waste means you should not have to pay for specialist disposal of the entire shipment.

How Gaskells can help

Most manufacturing waste can be reused or recycled, minimising the amount that has to go to landfill waste, avoiding landfill costs, and keeping existing landfill sites available for longer – but we want to do more.

Gaskells’ Materials Recycling Facilities are working to find new uses for unwanted waste from manufacturing, industry and household sources too.

We use state of the art equipment to separate, clean and process waste materials, turning them back into usable resources free from contamination and, ideally, in a form that can be recycled again and again.

This includes:

  • Segregated cardboard and paper waste.
  • Scrap metal, wood and glass.
  • Asbestos and hazardous materials.
  • Waste electricals and electronics (covered by WEEE regulations).
  • Food waste for anaerobic digestion.

Whatever materials you work with in your manufacturing activities, and however much waste you generate, we can help you to reduce your waste, reuse valuable resources where possible, and recycle whatever is left.

Contact Gaskells today for a free waste management audit on 0345 305 2615

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