Recycling in Industry
Businesses and industries create large amounts of waste in their daily activities. Reducing the amount of rubbish created at work through methods such as recycling will benefit the business as well as the environment. Waste disposal costs are greatly reduced through recycling and ultimately, less waste ends up in landfills.
Advice On Waste Reduction
- Find out about waste collection services in your area by contacting your local council.
- If there are no collection services for businesses in your area, work with staff to organise recycling schemes where materials are collected and transported to suitable recycling sites.
- Work with suppliers to organise transportation of goods in reusable containers that use less packaging.
- Materials that produce large volumes of waste should be the main targets for recycling.
- Use refillable dispensers in the work place opposed to individual disposable ones, such as water dispensers.
Laws and Directives
Directive on Batteries
- The European Commission issued this directive in March 2001.
- Aims to increase the recycling of batteries.
- Batteries that have more than 5ppm of cadmium by weight are banned.
- Systems should be set up whereby old batteries can be returned for free, where they will be recycled.
- 55% of all batteries that are collected should be recycled.
- Consumers must be informed about eco-friendly batteries.
- The Kyoto protocol was agreed in December 1997.
- Aims to reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses.
- The UK must reduce its current emissions by 12.5%.
- The European Commission issued the End of Life Vehicles Directive in September 2000.
- Aims to increase the recycling of vehicles.
- By 2007, all vehicles should be accepted for recycling by treatment facilities free of charge.
- By 2006, 85% of ELVs should be recycled. By 2015, 95% of ELVs should be recycled.
- The EC Landfill Directive came into force in the UK in June 2002.
- Aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill sites.
- Landfills should be split up into 3 groups:
- Inert Waste
- Specifies a ban on certain waste products entering landfills.
- Waste acceptance criteria must be met before materials are deposited in landfills.
Ozone Depletion Chemicals Regulations
- The latest of these regulations were introduced in June 2000.
- Aims to reduce the amount of ozone depletion chemicals released into the atmosphere.
- Ozone depletion chemicals include:
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Hydrocholorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
- Hydrobromoflourocarbons (HBFCs)
- Sulphur dioxide
- Nitrogen oxides
- It is illegal to dispose of fridges and freezers without firstly destroying the ozone depletion chemicals within them.
Packaging Waste Directive
- The European Commission issued this directive in 1994.
- Aims to reduce and recover packaging waste.
- Member states must implement a system for recycling packaging materials.
- European Commission targets for packaging recycling in 2008 are as follows:
- Glass – 71%
- Paper – 70%
- Aluminium – 35.5%
- Steel – 61.5%
- Plastic – 23.5%
- Wood – 21%
- An overall recovery target of 70% should be reached by 2008.
Special Waste Regulations
- The latest of these regulations were introduced in 1996.
- Aims of reduction and better handling of hazardous waste materials.
- With the exception of household waste, the movement of hazardous waste must be tracked until it reaches its destination.
- To find further information of handling hazardous waste in your region, contact:
- The Environment Agency (England and Wales)
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Scotland)
- Environment and Heritage Service (N Ireland)