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Resource Efficiency

Resource efficiency is not just an environmental initiative, it is also an important business process that could potentially save your organisation a lot of money.

Waste costs money, typically up to 4% of business turnover, and by finding ways to reduce waste, your company could become more profitable.

Waste minimisation and the waste hierarchy

To make savings in your waste costs and reduce the impact on the environment, following the waste hierarchy helps to identify different options by ranking them in order of environmental impact. Start at the top of the hierarchy to eliminate all waste where possible.

The Waste Hierarchy:

1. Eliminate

Eliminating waste entirely may not always be possible, but by not creating it in the first place reduces costs of raw materials.

2. Reduce

Reducing the amount of waste you produce can be achieved in a number of ways, including the amount of packing used, reduce off-cuts and rejects, send information electronically, purchase material in bulk and use returnable containers.

3. Reuse

To limit extra spend of buying items in, many can be re-used to reduce waste.

For example:

  • Packaging - boxes can be re-used many times.
  • Printer toner cartridges - choose a supplier that has a returns policy so that they can be re-filled and used again.
  • Paper - reuse paper from misprints and drafts as scrap paper in the office.
  • Drums - many raw materials are delivered in drums that can be washed and returned to the supplier, or re-used on site as waste containers.
  • Furniture and textiles - waste furniture and textiles may be of use to charities or to waste exchange groups.

4. Recycle

Recycling is an increasing requirement through legislation in order to reduce the impact on the environment. Many items can now be recycled, speak to your local recycling centre or waste management contractor to find out what they are and how they should be segregated.

5. Disposal

Disposal is the last resort when the other hierarchy options have been exhausted. There are legal obligations that all producers and handlers of waste need to comply with, so it is important that you contact your waste management contractor to discuss options like recycling to make waste disposal more efficient and save money.