Manage your waste

Waste management a ‘growing issue’ across sectors

waste management

Mountain of waste: companies need to understand the legislation

Waste management is becoming an issue across a number of sectors and companies have a legal duty of care.

Having an impactful waste management strategy in place is vital. So how do different industries get rid of their waste and how much is it costing them?

Anything that adds to costs is something that all owners want to reduce and having a waste management plan can help.

A waste management company can draw up a profile of your business and calculate the amount of waste your company generates – and creates a more reliable and bespoke collection routine that better meets your business needs.

Who in the UK is producing the most waste?

Those working in the commercial and industrial industry produced 30 million tonnes in 2014 of which 19.8m tonnes was from England alone with 11.1m tonnes coming from the commercial sector and 8.7m from the industrial.

Across the UK the commercial sector produced 15.1m tonnes and industrial produced 12.6m tonnes.

Britain produced 202.8 million tonnes of during 2014, a 4.6% increase on 2012.

Those focused on construction and demolition projects generated 120.4m tonnes in 2014 — a 10.6% increase on 2012. This sector generated over 60% of the UK’s total waste.

Waste generated from restaurants and pubs

Calculated at £3,500 per tonne, it has been reported by Wrap that waste in the UK costs £628m a year. Restaurants recycle 51% of waste, 65% of it packaging.

Restaurants in Britain produce 915,000 tonnes of waste each year, but only 199,000 of it is food waste.

According to the same source, 873,000 tonnes of waste is generated by pubs in the UK — 173,000 of this is food. We found out that 63% of this waste is recycled. The average pub can see a cost of £8,000 per year to get rid of food waste from their premises.

Waste generated from healthcare facilities

Only 7% of the healthcare sector’s entire waste is recycled. Food waste costs the healthcare sector £230 million each year – £1,900 per tonne. Every year, the healthcare sector generates 170,300 tonnes of waste of which 121,000 tonnes is food waste.

Waste generated from hotels:

Costing £4,000 per tonne, food waste reportedly costs hoteliers around the UK £318m. This sector produces around 289,700 tonnes of waste each year, of which 79,000 tonnes is food waste.

What is the government doing about it?

Britain has a goal to become a zero-waste economy — hoping to set an example to the world. This means working harder on how much we reduce, reuse and recycle and only throw things away as a last resort.

Businesses have a duty of care and should be keeping their waste to a minimum. They are also obliged to sort their waste out in the appropriate way and then store it correctly for when it leaves the building.

When this happens, you must complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that is removed from your location.

Make sure that your chosen waste carrier is registered to dispose of waste and if it is not you shouldn’t use them. You then have a duty to report them to Crimestoppers.

What restaurants need to know for dealing with waste issues

Start by separating waste which will allow you to see how much of what type of waste you’re producing. Use three bins for collecting data: food preparation, spoilage and then the leftovers from your customers plates. Use the data you have collected and multiply this figure by the amount it costs per tonne and this will tell you how much it is costing your business each year.

Reconomy, which offers a range of skip sizes, found that your food waste comes from:

  • Food preparation – 45%.
  • Spoilage – 21%.
  • Customer plates – 34%.

To help reduce food waste as a business, there are a few methods that can be followed. One problem that restaurants and cafes often shy away from addressing is the size of their menu; the bigger the menu, the more ingredients you buy – and the more that can be wasted. Take a step in the right direction by looking at your customer patterns – what are they ordering? From this, you will be able to remove the dishes that do not add value to your menu.

If you serve food, your portion sizes might be too big. Reducing the size of your meals even slightly is a simple step to take that could help reduce costs for your business.

You should make it a rule that you only buy the items that you actually need and not what you want! Don’t get sucked in by your supplier’s special offers—it’s only a good deal if you’ll actually use the produce.

If not, it will end up going in the bin – costing your business more money in the long run. Buy long-lasting ingredients that are vital in your kitchen such as spices, and buy fresh food only as you need.

If you still find you have leftovers, you could try donating them to local homeless shelters as they would happily take any contributions. You could even donate leftovers to a local farm to feed their animals if appropriate. Both of these could be beneficial to you as a business as you will be reducing waste whilst helping the environment.


This article appears under the terms of the DB Direct Service

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