ADAM CLOVER, DIRECTOR AT MICK GEORGE COMMODITIES LOOKS AT HOW BUSINESSES CAN TURN THEIR WASTE INTO A VALUABLE RESOURCE
Even today with all the technology we have available in the recycling sector, too much business waste is ending up in landfill, costing the UK economy millions of pounds. A lot of this waste if managed correctly by organisations could be treated as a valuable resource that creates new business opportunities as well as savings for waste disposal.
The lack of visibility of what’s in a company’s waste stream is one of the major causes of this trend, creating legal, financial and reputational risks for their brand - as well as missed opportunities for savings. In reality, companies just don’t have the time or knowledge to find out how much paper, cardboard, plastic and other recyclables are in their waste, which could be treated as valuable commodities.
We all want to recycle where possible and almost every company will have a plan in place for recycling on site, which will usually involve a dedicated container for low quality mixed recycling. But to transform these recyclables into higher value materials requires another level of investment and expertise.
But isn’t cardboard, just cardboard? Plastic, plastic? Well yes it is, but by keeping these materials separate and grading them on site will help organisations transform these recyclables into new higher value materials.
This is where Waste Management Companies can do more to help educate waste producers on what can and can’t be done. Yes there is an element of “it’s your job to recycle and manage our waste” and like any good Waste Management Company we accept that. However if companies take the time to learn exactly what’s in their waste streams, and invest time and money in new innovative ways to separate their waste more efficiently on site for collections they will reap the benefits of lower disposal costs, and new revenues.
At Mick George, we work closely with our clients and make recommendations on how they can turn what they see as waste into a valuable resource that can be traded in the global commodities market.
This market is a tough place especially with China’s current trading restrictions and as a provider of recyclable materials to many processors, we have to ensure they receive the quality that they want.
A little bit of food waste in the bale of film can cause a problem and it’s making sure that our clients (the producers) understand the issues around this. This all comes from education and making sure that staff on site are trained and understand that high quality recycling is paramount to the success of any recycling and commodities strategy.
To protect the future of recycling we need to start a real push with our younger generation. We are very much a throw away society with little thought to the possible impact on our environment and what the future holds for our children. Plastic bottles have been a well covered environmental issue with some great media from Sky but this is just the start. At Mick George we continuously work with local schools to raise the awareness of recycling, and use competitions to help educate children on the benefits of recycling materials.