One of the last things small to medium enterprises want to consider are their waste management costs. The waste process of a company is not at the top of a managers list of jobs to sort – plus waste management is often a relatively small cost compared to other utilities.
You have many responsibilities as a business owner, and one of these is with regard to how your waste is disposed of. The costs of waste disposal can be from a few hundred to several thousand pounds, and those with multiple sites with multiple bins even more so. So, there are still considerable cost savings to be made.
One major increase in costs is due to landfill tax over the last 10 years, as government policy dictates less should be in landfill. This has increased from 21 a tonne in April 2006 to 48 per tonne in April 2010.
The recent emergency budget confirmed a price increase of 8% per year until at least 2014 – making the per tonne cost a staggering 80. The regular SME is not charged by weight, but these costs will be passed on to you via more expensive waste collections.
So, how can you make cost savings?
- Many firms will tempt you in with low prices, and then increase the costs every April as landfill tax increases – so make sure you use your right to cancel, or at least threaten so, and use this to leverage cheaper rates
- Write “one months notice to cancel at any time” on your contact – might save you a few quid if prices rise sharply.
- Make sure you approach at least 3 companies to get a quote – or use a waste broker to management this prices. Watch for extras such as bin rental, duty of care charges etc
- It is really important that you have a Waste Transfer Note, as this is a legal needment – this means you know who is collecting your waste, and where it is going.
- Recycle More! Not only does recycling help the environment, it can actually be cheaper too. Much of the waste that you generate can be recycled (cardboard, paper, plastics) and this is less expensive to dispose of too.
- It may be worth looking into waste equipment such as balers, compactors and composters that can reduce the space waste takes up and therefore save money – many waste management companies can provide an audit to show you where you could save money.
- Remember the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – examine where your waste is coming from – can it be reduced or eliminated, speak to suppliers about reducing their packaging.
- Think about items you throw away – paper, envelopes etc – can you use these for another purpose instead of them going straight to a landfill.
- It is worth checking the night before your bin collections how full they are – do they stay empty most of the time, do you have peak times when you need 2 bins, not 1? Consider reducing the amount of bins you have, and consider compactors to reduce the size of waste.
- Making sure your business is legally compliant is very important – so consider using a specialist waste broker with years of experience in the business to advise you and save you money on your waste.