The 5th-9th September signals the start of National Zero Waste Week in the UK which gives individuals and businesses to reflect on the way that they personally manage waste and ways they could do better.
The campaign began in 2008 with the purpose of helping raise awareness about the volume of waste sent to landfill as well as helping people save money and resources by evaluating the things they throw away. By signing up for Zero Waste week, both commercial and individual consumers can receive updates and practical tips on how best to handle their own waste requirements.
Here we examine waste problems that people face and ways to reduce them:
•Contaminating recycling – most UK councils have introduced recycling collections however it is reported that up to a fifth of ‘recycled’ waste has to be incinerated or sent to landfill due to it being contaminated. When people place incorrect or unsuitable items in recycling bins it costs a huge amount to resort appropriately. Getting educated about what can be recycled and where could help reduce this problem.
•Fly tipping – despite recent changes to the law enabling councils to have greater powers for detection and prosecution of fly tippers it is still a problem. People should ensure that they work with a reputable company that is legally entitled to remove waste and dispose of it responsibly. It is to be expected that excess waste will occur from time to time but it is the responsibility of the business or individual to ensure it is collected and removed within the law. A waste carrier’s license is required by all approved waste companies for commercial and domestic waste.
•Wasteful practices – both businesses and individuals are guilty of wasteful practices. Some businesses strive to be more sustainable and set targets for this and there is no reason why others can’t do the same. By evaluating what is spent compared to what is thrown away could easily identify areas where savings count be made. Cutting down on waste could save money and is of course beneficial to all, including the environment.