Waste management is of utmost importance in any sector, but at times entrepreneurs fail to consider its importance when setting up their own business operations. In conjunction with Reconomy, leader in offering a range of skip sizes across the UK, we take a closer look at how different businesses operating in different industries go about disposing their waste. We also take a look at the cost implications, taking into to account the UK as a whole.

Success in any business requires a targeted focus on the core business activity which subsequently generates the profits, while peripheral operational costs should be minimised. Effective management of waste makes for one way to reduce unnecessary costs, with the implications thereof entailing working with a waste management company that will endeavour to create a much more reliable, bespoke waste collection-routine which better meets the needs of your business –this of course after drawing up a profile of your business to calculate the amount of waste your company generates.

How much waste was produced by different industries in the UK (2014)?

Commercial waste: 15.1 million tonnes

Industrial waste: 12.6 million tonnes

Construction, demolition and excavation: 120.4 million tonnes (over 60% of the UK’s total waste)

Mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing: 26.9 million tonnes (in 2016)

202.8 million tonnes of waste in total was produced in 2014, making for an increase of 4.6% from 2012.

A breakdown of the waste produced by sector (including food waste) as well as how this is costing them as an industry in the UK reveals the following:

The Restaurant and Pub Sector

915,400 tonnes of waste is produced each year by the UK’s food industry, including 199,100 tonnes of food waste alone, while the pub industry produces waste which amounts to 873,000 tonnes per year, of which 173,000 is food waste.

Annual food waste management costs in these sectors amounts to £3,500 per tonne.

The Hotel Sector

The hotel sector has an annual expenditure of £318 million on food waste, which amounts to 79,000 of the 289,000 tonnes of the total waste produced.

The Healthcare Sector

121,000 out of the 170,300-tonne total is waste produced by the health sector from food, costing £230 million to manage annually. 7% of all this waste is recycled.

Tackling Food Waste

Businesses could reduce their waste through better management of their core business operations contributing to food waste, such as scaling down restaurant menu sizes in line with customer consumption volumes, reducing the sizes of portions, stocking food only as required, as well as donating unconsumed food to charities and shelters.

Government Action

The British government aims to become a zero-waste economy. Consequently, it has issued responsibilities to businesses to keep their waste to a minimum, sort their waste and store it properly, and complete waste-transfer notes when the waste leaves the premises.

Only certified waste carriers should be made use of and they are then to be reported to Crimestoppers should they be disposing of your collected waste illegally and in a way that carries the potential to damage the environment.

Naturally, waste will still exist. The aim however is simply to deploy all resources possible to ensure we get full value out of all the products we consume.

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