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80 percent of UK businesses “don’t recycle and don’t care”

May 3, 2013

diggerA survey by a UK recycling company has found most companies send most of their rubbish to landfill.

The survey by BusinessWaste.co.uk found that businesses are either “filling landfill sites” or “resorting to illegal activity” to dispose of rubbish, rather than recycling any of their waste. The 80 percent of companies have “no green policy in place and do not separate recyclable waste from non-recyclable”, with the survey finding that some will not even sort paper, food and glass waste.

The separation of such waste is imposed on a domestic level in the UK, with rubbish lorries collecting different waste segregated into separate bins, but businesses do not take the same approach. Among the most common things not recycled include printer cartridges, as well as paper, cardboard, plastics, electrical waste and computers, and green waste for composting.

The survey also found that some companies “are prepare dot break the law in order to reduce or eliminate their waste-handling costs”, with BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Recycling Manager Jonathan Ratcliffe stating: “We’re well aware that some companies will still fly-tip in this day-and-age, but we’ve found some smaller businesses prepared to admit that they dispose of their waste at the household tip while posing as a member of the public.

“It’s a dangerous game – companies that breach their waste management duty of care face unlimited fines if they get caught.”

Ratcliffe added of the survey results: “It reflects very badly upon us as a nation. Other countries have forged ahead with commercial recycling, but a high proportion of UK companies seemingly can’t be bothered and contribute to the 228m tons of waste we produce every year.

“Landfill is both wasteful and expensive, and businesses are hitting themselves in the bank balance because of their inability or unwillingness to recycle. It’s not a great step implementing a green policy, and it saves money almost from the start.”

Ratcliffe concluded positively that the government in the UK is “incentivising green policies and recycling through tax breaks for energy efficiency”, with a landfill tax penalising companies “that do not recycle their waste”. He added that “at £72 [$111/€85] per ton going to landfill, it soon adds up for companies that don’t recycle”, noting that BusinessWaste.co.uk “is committed to the vision of a zero-waste, 100% recycled economy. We do our best to help our clients reduce their waste bills”.

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