If you thought recycling was just about saving the planet, you may be in for a surprise. It also has the potential to influence the bottom line writes Jonathan Wilson of Barnett & Turner Accountants Ltd. Most of us are used to doing our bit for the environment at home. We’ll happily separate recycling from other rubbish and increasingly take our own bags to the supermarket. Small steps, but ones that make us feel we’re achieving something positive at a time when climate change and the environment have a higher profile than ever.
It’s easy to overlook environmental initiatives in the workplace, but even small and medium-sized enterprises can generate potentially large amounts of waste. Many companies see the advantage of demonstrating their environmental credentials to potential customers from a public relations point of view. Others may have a very strong conviction that they should do something positive for the planet. But how many actually think about the cost savings?
If you recycle effectively, you can often keep the price of waste collection down, but it requires some real discipline. Here are some tips worth bearing in mind:
- GET THE INFRASTRUCTURE RIGHT
Take advice from your waste collector about the different bins that you’ll need within your office or premises and make sure that they’re easily accessible.
- AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES
You may not realise it, but you’ll soon be penalised if inappropriate items end up in the recycling. If your bins are full of chewing gum and paper clips, you could end up paying more. Even coffee cups that still have coffee inside or the remnants of a pre-packed sandwich can mean that your waste will be rejected. You’ll have to ask your employees to take simple steps, such as rinsing out tin cans.
- MAKE SURE TO COMMUNICATE
It’s vital to have all your staff on board. They need to understand what you’re aiming to achieve. It may also be worth holding a face-to-face briefing meeting to demonstrate exactly what can – and what can’t – go into the recycling bins.
If you get the approach right, you may soon be demonstrating your support for the environment to staff and customers, while also making significant savings.