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Commercial Waste Recycling – Why It’s Essential

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At WasteManaged, we provide commercial waste recycling services for over 25,000 businesses across the UK.

We’ve adopted a zero-waste-to-landfill policy which means that we’ll try to recycle as much of your business waste as possible.

Get a free quote and see how much you can save on your recycling collections.

What is commercial waste recycling?

Commercial waste recycling is collecting the rubbish thrown away by a business (which is deemed recyclable), transporting it to a treatment facility, and finally recycling it into new useful products/materials.

The main difference between residential recycling and commercial recycling is often the size with businesses throwing far more away than households each week.

Business throwing out recycling boxes

What types of business waste can be recycled?

The following can be collected from a business’s premises and recycled:

  • Dry-mixed recycling – this includes paper, cardboard, aluminium cans, and recyclable plastics
  • Glass waste – this includes bottles and jars (but not broken glass, window glass, or lightbulbs)
  • Food waste – this includes plate scrappings, peels, cut-offs, and gone-off food

If your business needs any of the waste types listed above collected, we’ll pick it up and recycle it on your behalf. Get a quote from us on your commercial waste recycling today.

To find out more about how this waste is recycled, you can read our in-depth guide to commercial recycling.

What kind of waste can’t be recycled?

The following can’t be recycled:

  • General waste – any non-recyclable or contaminated material such as used napkins
  • Clinical/hazardous waste – dangerous waste such as sharps or biological matter
  • Sanitary waste – offensive waste such as diapers

These waste types are typically incinerated or, unfortunately, taken to a landfill. Sometimes, recyclable material can be recovered from these waste streams.

What types of businesses need a recycling service?

The vast majority of businesses need a commercial waste recycling service. We’ve found that the most common waste management package our customers go for is general and dry-mixed recycling collections.

This often consists of two 1100 or 660-litre bins collected on a weekly or fortnightly schedule (one for general, one for recycling).

The following businesses will typically need a recycling service:

  • Offices
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Pubs
  • Bars
  • Garages
  • Salons
  • Vets
  • Dentists
  • Takeaways
  • Retail (highstreet shops)
  • Cafes

And there are many more, but you get the picture, 99% of businesses that operate out of a physical location will need a recycling collection solution.

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Do businesses legally have to recycle in the UK?

Yes. The UK Waste Regulations (gov) declare that UK businesses must separate their recyclable waste from their general waste in order to help the environment. If they fail to do so then they may be fined or, in repeat instances, closed down.

Companies must also do their best to keep their waste to a minimum. To do this they should prioritise reduction, reuse, recycling, or recovery of the waste.

Is commercial recycling free?

No, commercial recycling is not free. However, you can get your collections for an affordable monthly cost depending on which provider you go for.

With us at WasteManaged, for instance, we deliver our commercial bins to customers for free and set you up with a low-cost contract which locks in your price so that your bills are never increased whilst you’re with us.

We also don’t charge for excess weight, unlike other waste management solutions. Get a free quote on your commercial recycling needs with our team today.

Free business bins from WasteManaged

How does commercial waste affect the environment?

The effect commercial waste has on the environment is dependent on how it’s disposed of. If the waste is sent to a landfill, then this poses many problems for the planet.

If commercial waste isn’t recycled, then it’s likely either incinerated or sent to a landfill. If it does end up buried in the ground, then it will decompose over a long period of time and release a harmful greenhouse gas called methane.

Methane contributes to warming up the planet and causes climate change across the globe.

Incineration, whilst better than landfill, is also a harmful way of disposing of business waste. It causes air pollution, smog, and can irritate wildlife.

How much commercial waste is produced and how much is recycled?

In 2022, the UK is estimated to have produced 43.9 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste – with 85% of this waste being produced by businesses located in England.

However, only around 48.7% of this commercial waste is recycled.

Including household waste, the UK produced around 222.2 million tonnes of waste. This means that commercial waste makes up about 19.7% of all refuse thrown away by the UK.

43.9 tonnes of commercial waste is produced by the UK

You can read more about these statistics here.

Can businesses improve their commercial waste recycling?

Businesses can definitely improve their commercial waste recycling rates. Here are some ways in which they can do so:

  • Conduct a waste audit – monitor what you throw away, how much of it, and how often.
  • Properly segregate your waste – ensure employees know which waste goes where
  • Reduce the amount you throw away – encourage staff and customers to minimise what they throw away
  • Have a dedicated bin for each waste stream – get bins for each type of waste you produce to mitigate against cross-contamination
  • Use a professional waste management company to collect your waste and to provide your bins – if they’re reputable then they’ll ensure that you’re recycling as much of your business waste as possible

At WasteManaged, we provide free bins to our customers and have a zero-waste-to-landfill policy.

Using us, as thousands of other UK businesses do, means that your company is a ‘green’ business which your customers and employees will love.

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To get a free quote on your waste collections then fill in our quick and easy 60-second quote form.

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