How can businesses improve their waste management?

In April 2024, the Welsh Government are introducing new workplace waste regulations that will impact how businesses manage their recycling and waste disposal. Ahead of these changes, many businesses will be turning their attention to their waste management practices and how they could improve their approach to recycling and waste disposal. Due to the greater quantities of waste produced by businesses, the most effective methods of waste management can seem more complicated to decide on.

In this guide from SL Recycling, we outline a handful of key ways in which businesses can improve their waste management to adhere to new legislation centred around Wales’ move towards net zero and fewer carbon emissions. In doing so, we note how sorting waste can improve processing, and how businesses can reduce the waste they produce before going on to highlight some effective practices for wider waste management.


For more useful articles related to recycling and waste management, visit our blog – current pieces include The best ways to dispose of food waste and What are the benefits of recycling food waste. Our blog also covers a range of other recycling and waste disposal topics such as What household metal can and can’t be recycled, Recycling solutions for small businesses and What is the difference between upcycling and recycling.


  1. Sorting Waste for Improved Processing


Businesses are a leading contributor to waste generated across Europe, so maximising the efficiency of recycling and waste disposal is of high importance for businesses of all sizes. Efficient sorting allows businesses to get the most out of their recycling process and increase the quantity of waste that is recycled overall.


Sorting refers to the process of categorising materials such as glass, plastic and cardboard and discarding them into relevant bins/containers to be recycled. It is suggested that by filtering waste in this way, businesses produce larger quantities of high-quality recyclable material.  Advances in waste sorting technology have made it easier for companies to process their waste on-site. Increasing this ease often has a direct impact on the quantity of material that is recycled.


Without a suitable sorting system in place, large portions of a business’ recyclable waste may end up in landfills. So not only does incorporating a sorting process into your recycling process increase its efficiency, but it also limits the impact of your waste on the environment.


Depending on the size of your workplace, some businesses may invest in sorting and bailing systems that can streamline the categorisation of waste and limit the need to manual sorting.


  1. Reducing Waste Produced by Businesses


In the UK, workplaces generate a wide variety of waste daily – much of which is recyclable. But as we strive to develop more sustainable ways of running our businesses, what strategies can be used to cut down on waste production in the business sector?


Save paper – For many businesses, day-to-day proceedings contain numerous documents and paper products. To reduce the amount of paper that will ultimately be stored or recycled – businesses could consider printing only essential documents and operating a double-sided printing policy, to ensure any paper that is used as thoroughly as possible. In addition, shifting to digital systems for administrative and practical tasks could also assist in reducing waste.


Remove Single-Use Plastics – Cutting down on single-use plastics is a commonly noted effort across numerous sectors looking to operate more sustainably. Removing single-use plastics such as plastic cups or kitchen plates offer an ideal solution for businesses operating out of offices. For businesses producing products or experiences – thought could be given to limiting the amount of plastic required and, substituting plastic for alternative materials where possible.


Go Re-Usable – Many businesses may wish to provide their staff with or encourage them to use reusable products. Items such as water bottles or flasks offer businesses an ideal opportunity to advertise themselves as well as reduce the likelihood of staff bringing single-use materials into the workplace. For businesses producing products, adding dual/reusable functions to a product or its packaging could also reduce waste.



  1. Useful Practices for Waste Management


Curating an effective waste management strategy has benefits both within and beyond the business context. Whatever the context, waste management is often best steered using a waste management plan. But where should you start when it comes to reducing your waste?


Often, it is useful to conduct an audit of your waste production habits when assessing waste management needs.  Begin by reviewing the areas in which you produce large volumes of waste on a regular basis. By doing this, you can tailor your efforts and concentrate on areas where the most waste is being produced. This auditing also helps you assess how much of this waste goes to landfill and how much is recycled. If there is the opportunity to recycle, it is then possible to make goals on a category-by-category basis, finding ways to reduce waste generation in particular areas. If a recyclable waste category emerges as one of the most generated, additional recycling bins or collections could be arranged to fit your needs.


If getting to grips with your waste management feels like a challenge, support from industry experts such as SL Recycling could put you back on track. With years of industry expertise in a range of areas, out fully qualified staff are available offer customised support.



  1. Waste Management with SL Recycling


SL Recycling is a leading waste management provider in South Wales. With a breadth of experience in both household and commercial recycling, our specialist team are able to offer tailored guidance that adheres to changing legislation. Our range of services includes waste management, (including cardboard waste, food waste and general waste), metal recycling and skip hire. Our expertise in these areas make us a reputable authority in all matters of recycling and safe waste disposal.


We are passionate about assisting businesses in making informed decisions about their approach to waste management – ensuring that the methods employed are effective, compliant and tailored to the needs of your situation. For more information about how SL Recycling could assist your business, get in touch today.

Commercial Waste Management

SL Recycling specialise in delivering industry-leading commercial waste management services to businesses in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Pontypool and throughout South East Wales.

SL Recycling specialises in managing business waste and is independently owned, turning over in excess of a £14 million per year. Our waste management specialists have the experience and flexibility to offer you a bespoke package at a competitive price.

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