Business & Industry

A high percentage of recycled resources are collected from businesses, as manufacturing waste and as waste collected from customers. Businesses play a key role in helping reduce waste to land fill. Based on research conducted on businesses recycling practices in Auckland (shown alongside), it would be reasonable to expect businesses to increase their interest in, and attention to, recycling practice. There would seem to be a greater onus on waste collection companies to provide their customers with better recycling assurance and reporting systems. While the more common recyclable materials seem to be adequately collected (but not necessarily recycled), businesses are seeking a wider range of collection services to help them achieve zero-waste status.

There are 6 main reasons for building owners, property managers, business managers and tenants to work together to implement building-wide recycling systems.

1. Marketplace Image
Organisations can achieve a better marketplace image through demonstrated responsibility toward the environment. Customers, clients and the general public are increasingly demanding that organisations ‘do the right thing’. Promoting your efforts in the local media can attract new customers and enhance relationships with existing customers.

2. Financial Savings
Recycling isn’t expensive. In fact there are financial benefits in waste minimisation and recycling. Recycling services are often priced at such a level that they are competitive or cheaper than sending material to landfill.

3. Staff Morale and Team Building
There are positive social aspects to recycling, such as improved staff moral from knowing they are looking after the environment, and as a vehicle for team building by providing a common project for staff to work on outside of their everyday roles.

4. Reduced Environmental Impact
Removing recyclables from the waste stream lowers the environmental ‘footprint’ of the building through reducing waste to landfill. In addition, the production of goods made out of the material recycled will generally use less water, electricity and other resources than making products from virgin materials. This further reduces resource use.

5. Resource Efficiency
A recycling project can be the initial project in a larger programme to improve the resource efficiency of the building. Other areas of resource use that might be addressed include looking at reducing energy and paper use, and sustainable purchasing.

6. Working Together Minimises Waste
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) make up a large proportion of NZ businesses. In SMEs, one person often takes on a variety of roles within the organisation, so the time and resources available to address environmental issues can be very limited. The big advantage for businesses involved in a building-wide project is that tasks can be shared, minimising the input required by each individual business and avoiding duplication. A shared project also reduces the number of collection companies coming into the building and simplifies security issues.

Businesses have to pay a Waste Levy
For all businesses it is important to adopt the reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy. Costs for sending waste to landfill are increasing, so waste reduction also benefits the bottom line.
The Waste Minimisation Act introduced a $10 per tonne landfill waste levy. This cost has been passed down to waste producers. Many industry commentators believe this will (and needs to) increase to $80, and this will stimulate a switch to recycling practice.

Waste Stream Audit
It costs businesses more to send recyclable waste to landfills than to have it collected, sorted and sent to a recycling centre. Once a Waste Stream Audit is completed, a waste reduction program can be introduced to reduce business costs, increase sustainable business practice and remove the need for landfills. A successful waste reduction program depends upon the participation and support of individuals and businesses. Operating costs are key for businesses and this is an added incentive for businesses to be serious about recycling.

Many businesses are not fully aware of how many recyclable waste products are valuable resources that can be converted into new products. Check if your Waste Company works with you to help identify and remove recyclable waste from the various waste processes. Offices, factories, restaurants and companies dispose of a large volume of solid waste. Contained in this waste are resources that can be recycled, including cardboard boxes, office paper, bottles, aluminium cans and plastics.

Your Waste Company should be able to provide a recycling service for most of the recyclable products that a company may have. Trained staff should be able to visit and carry out a waste audit, advising on what can be recycled to save costs and benefit the environment. You can view and download a typical Business Waste Audit Guide below.

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Business Waste Audit GuideBusiness Waste Audit Guide
View and download our typical guide to carrying out a waste audit.
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