As a small business owner, you’re going to have a whole lot on your mind. You’re likely to have a seemingly never-ending to-do list and you’re going to be dedicating most of your attention to things that will push your business forward – product design and development, manufacturing, packaging, market research, advertising and marketing… the list goes on and on. But it’s also important that you pay due attention to areas of your business that may usually fly under your radar. Waste removal and disposal is an extremely important factor in any business – big or small – and it’s absolutely essential that you do tackle it and ensure that waste is being disposed of appropriately. This will ensure that working spaces are clean and that you are complying to special regulations that your business may have to align to. Let’s take a moment to look at a few different areas to help get you started in the right direction!
Recycling Paper Waste
If you’re running a business with an office, chances are that you’re going to generate a whole lot of paper waste throughout the working year. Of course, for the sake of the environment, you should aim to minimise your office’s paper usage anyway. Go paperless with documents, use emails instead of sending letters, and cut down in any other way that you can. For paper waste that is produced, you should try recycling. This means that the paper can, at least, be reused rather than more trees having to be cut down to accommodate our businesses. Put bins specifically designated for paper waste in your office spaces and ensure that employees know to use them. Arrange for these to be collected by recycling agencies. When recycling paper waste, you do need to make sure to bear your customers and other individual’s privacy in mind. Make sure any documents with personal information on them are appropriately shredded before being placed in the paper recycling bin.
Recycling Other Waste
While paper tends to be the most used recyclable resource in offices, it’s important that you consider recycling any other waste that your business produces. If it can be recycled, make sure to recycle it! Ink cartridges, water bottles, excess food packaging from employee lunches – the potentials are endless. Make sure to provide appropriate bins for recyclable materials to be separated for collection.
Removing Construction Waste
The majority of businesses will have construction work carried out on them at some point or another. Not all construction companies will remove leftover materials and other waste on your behalf. If you find that you have a lot of material (gravel, rubble, etc) to dispose of you need to look into professional removal. This kind of material can’t just be thrown in the usual bin – that’s if you could even fit it into a usual bin. Instead, look into cheap bin hire where the waste can be safely stored in a strong bin and removed to an appropriate site elsewhere.
Disposing of Food Waste
There are plenty of businesses out there that dispose of a whole lot of food waste or edible waste. More obvious businesses include restaurants, cafes, and other establishments that prepare and serve food. Less obvious examples include any business that disposes of employees’ food waste from the staff room (leftover lunches and old tea bags and coffee grounds, etc). It’s extremely important that you dispose of this sort of matter responsibly. Remember that when businesses are built, humans are consistently encroaching further and further onto wild animals’ territory, so it’s really not all too surprising that many creatures will start roaming around your business premises in search of food. Where else do they have to find something to eat? While they will generally stay away from people, it’s still a good idea to be extra careful when disposing of any food waste. Ditching bags outside will just result in the bags being ripped open. This is messy and unpleasant to deal with when you and your employees return to work in the morning. Make sure you have sealable and lockable food waste bins and that you arrange for them to be delivered by appropriate services.
Increasing numbers of business owners are investing more time into developing gardens around their commercial properties. There are various reasons for this. Not only is it a great pastime, but it can make your business a whole lot more appealing to customers, clients, employees, partners, and all of the other people who work together to make you a profit. But remember that garden waste can’t just be thrown in with your usual waste. Many collections will refuse to take garden waste away. Make sure to collect all garden waste up in biodegradable bags and to dispose of them according to the regulations set by your local council.
These are just a few areas of waste disposal that you should focus on at some point or another when it comes to running a small business. There are, of course, other areas that you should look into too – these may be more niche and specific to your own business and the field that it operates within. Medical waste, nuclear waste, and other hazardous waste, for example, will have more stringent and regulated rules that you have to abide by. But hopefully, the above information will get you off to a good start! Sure, this may not be the most thrilling area of your business to focus on, but it is an area that needs to be considered!