Recycling For Retailers

Recycling For Retailers

The retail sector is one of the UK’s largest producers of commercial waste, and that gives companies operating in the retail industry a chance to deliver some of the biggest benefits for the environment and the conservation of natural resources through recycling.

Figures from Wrap show that 97% of businesses are satisfied with their Recycle at Work scheme, which aims to collect recyclable materials from commercial waste and make sure that they are properly separated for processing, rather than being sent to landfill.

Recycle at Work helps businesses to identify the different types of waste that can be recycled and the quantities that they generate – something Gaskells can help you to do via our commercial waste audits.

Over a third of companies that participate in Recycle at Work say their reputation in the local community has benefited from doing so, and more than a quarter have been able to make better use of the space available on their premises just by having better organised bins and recycling containers.

What can recycling do for your business?

Recycling is not just good for the environment; it can be good for business too. For example, as mentioned above, a better organised bin area can make better use of space, keeping things neat and tidy, as well as clean and hygienic between collection dates.

If you find you generate a large quantity of a particular type of waste, such as plastic or cardboard packaging, you can increase the frequency of collections for this, so that you do not face an unnecessary fire hazard or health risk.

You save on the costs associated with sending commercial waste to landfill, and can potentially clear valuable storage space that can be put to more profitable means, rather than simply storing waste for collection.

Other benefits you might find include:

  • Improved business reputation and eco-credentials.
  • Improved compliance with environmental legislation.
  • Improved use of resources/reduction in total waste.
  • Direct cost savings from less commercial waste to process.
  • Enhanced public perception and increased profits.

What materials can retailers recycle?

In general, the types of materials you encounter in the retail sector are highly likely to be recyclable, including substances such as:

  • Paper/card
  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Rigid plastics
  • Polythene and plastic wraps
  • Textiles including carpet
  • Printed materials e.g. magazines, brochures

Depending on the specific nature of your business and the items you sell, there may be other forms of waste that need special handling – so please contact Gaskells to find out if they are recyclable, and how we would suggest collecting and disposing of them.

How can Gaskells help retail businesses?

Our experienced team carry out waste audits for businesses in all sectors, and we can help retailers to identify and organise all of the different types of recyclable waste you encounter on a daily basis.

We can provide you with the necessary containers so recyclables are separated at the point of collection – this helps to reduce cross-contamination and makes it easier for us to collect different types of waste on different days and offer you the most appropriate collections schedule for your needs.

You don’t need to be a big brand. We work with small independent retailers and kiosk locations to make sure however large or small your commercial waste may be, we collect and dispose of it appropriately and in a way that is cost-effective for you.

Duty of Care Regulations

Remember that under Duty of Care Regulations, business operators are required to store commercial waste safely and securely, so that it cannot cause harm to human life or pollute the environment.

The most effective way you can do this is to store waste in appropriate containers and have it removed by a professional firm like Gaskells on a regular basis, before too much waste accumulates on your premises.

By doing this, you reduce fire and health risks, you keep waste contained so it cannot pollute the surrounding area, and you avoid unnecessary costs by making sure you always have enough room to store recyclables between collection dates.

How can retail businesses do more?

A fully joined-up strategy is the best way to manage waste and maximise the percentage of your commercial waste that ends up getting recycled, rather than going to landfill.

That can also include reducing the amount of waste you generate upfront, and getting customers engaged on environmental campaigns, for example the minimum charge on single-use carrier bags.

Here are some other things you might want to try with your own employees, suppliers and customers:

  • Ask suppliers to use minimal non-essential packaging when making deliveries to you.
  • Try to use less packaging when customers make purchases.
  • Encourage customers to use their own bags or to buy a reusable shopping bag from you.
  • Try to donate items that cannot be sold – especially if they are still in usable condition.
  • Make recycling bins available to customers as well as staff.
  • Meet your obligations as a retailer to collect items like used batteries for disposal.
  • Run training sessions so staff can learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle at work.
  • Opt for paperless methods of marketing where possible, rather than flyers, leaflets and paper mailers.
  • Purchase recycled products, e.g. recycled office paper and recyclable plastics, wherever possible.

The benefits of all of this – especially those measures visible to the public and to customers inside your premises – can combine to boost your bottom line, as many customers will now prefer to buy from retailers with a clear environmental commitment in place.

Even among those who do not, the reduced cost of sending waste to landfill, the savings you can derive from improved resource efficiency (including less energy and water used, and less paper waste in your offices) and the better use of floor space in more organised waste disposal areas can all add up to a big boost, without necessarily changing the public’s perception of your business at all.

Contact Gaskells today for a free site audit on 0345 340 9656

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