Amid rising business waste disposal costs and tougher sanctions on local authorities to curb domestic and commercial waste, SMEs must consider ways to dispose of their unwanted business waste before the cost of removal instigates a substantial monthly overhead.

Happily, for small business owners, the development of modern recycling methods means that firms can now dispose of day-to-day business waste – including paper, plastic, metal and electronic equipment – more responsibly than ever before. Why not buy a recycled jutebag for storage of paper and build an environmentally friendly business.

business wasteBut what are the incentives for doing so, and why should small businesses exert time, money and manpower into recycling their business waste? To find out, we explored three of the key benefits SMEs can enjoy by ramping up their recycling efforts.

Monetary incentives

In an effort to meet the EU’s stringent environmental policy, the UK government has introduced a number of monetary incentives for businesses prepared to commit to a responsible and comprehensive recycling programme.

Taking the form of annual grants and loans, the value of each cash incentive is based on the amount of energy the government deems will be saved through the use of specific recycling methods. A full breakdown of the government’s corporate recycling grants can be accessed via the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

On top of the government’s generous financial support, companies also stand to halve their waste disposal overheads by taking greater steps to reduce the amount they send to landfill. Landfill tax is a costly and unwanted outlay for businesses, with professional services network, Deloitte, reporting that it costs businesses £82.60 per tonne of waste sent to landfill.

Environmental factors

Putting monetary incentives aside, the environmental factors associated with increased business recycling efforts are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. According to the RecyclingGuide.org, 60% of rubbish that ends up in a dustbin could be recycled – a worrying statistic, given that around 46 million tonnes of rubbish is sent to landfill each year.

Of the waste products regularly binned by UK businesses: paper, plastic bottles and electronic waste products are among the most common items sent to landfill – despite being some of the easiest to recycle.

Of the electronic waste products sent to landfill by UK businesses, a large proportion is made up of print cartridges. Ink and toner cartridges are among the most damaging electronic waste products sent to landfill, given their 1,000-year decomposition rate and harmful chemical composition.

Print cartridge experts, Toner Giant, stress the importance of recycling empty print cartridges: “With 350 million sent to landfill each year, the environmental impact of print cartridges can’t be stressed highly enough. By recycling your used cartridges, your company will demonstrate its commitment to responsible waste management – bolstering your green credentials and validating your overall integrity and company ethics.”

Community support & networking opportunities

As touched on above, by implementing a comprehensive recycling programme across every facet of your business, it’s possible to demonstrate your green credentials to local authorities, clients and, not least, your customers. Commit to a responsible recycling regime, and you’ll win the respect of the wider community, and encourage other companies in your industry to follow in your carbon-friendly footsteps.

Employing an environmentally-friendly work ethic will not only win community praise, it could open the door to invaluable partnerships and networking opportunities with other green businesses or organisations. Many companies choose to network and partner with others in a bid to gain exposure for their on-going recycling efforts, as well as saving money on the cost of waste disposal.