As Global Recycling Day approaches on 18 March, it is more important than ever to recycle effectively. This year’s Global Recycling Day theme is around ‘Recycling Heroes’, which recognises individuals, communities and businesses that play a significant role in helping the environment through their innovative and diverse recycling efforts. According to the United Nations, we only have 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.
It is clear that the current rate at which we consume the Earth’s natural resources is unsustainable. The Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP) rightly notes, “improving waste management is essential if society’s environmental impacts are to be reduced.”
The mining and production of raw resources are environmentally damaging, affecting the livelihoods and health of local communities. Becoming more efficient with how we use natural resources and materials is, therefore, necessary to alleviate the pressure on the environment.
With Global Recycling Day just around the corner and the launch of our recycling guide, ‘The ultimate guide to real recycling for businesses in Westminster’, you can learn to effectively manage your waste and recycling, reduce your carbon footprint and become more sustainable as a business.
Westminster City Council’s ‘Recycling Heroes’ nominations
As part of the Global Recycling Day initiative, Westminster City Council is nominating two members of staff, Terry Clark and Terry Thomas, as well as our client Shaftesbury PLC as ‘Recycling Heroes’ in the Westminster community.
Shaftesbury PLC, Carnaby Village
Shaftesbury is championing sustainability in Westminster’s iconic Carnaby area. They are ambitious, proactively incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into their sustainability strategy and encouraging their many tenants to follow suit.
The results are impressive: nearly 75% of their waste is recycled. Over 30 eateries have received the Blue Turtle mark, signifying their commitment to minimising single-use plastics and safeguarding the ocean; stylish reusable tote bags have been designed by influential celebrities; water stations and coffee cup recycling are provided; they have collaborated in a successful biodiversity project and support Global Recycling Day and WWF’s Earth Hour – and much more.
Terry Clark & Terry Thomas, Street Waste Action Team (SWAT), Westminster City Council
Terry and Terry are Westminster residents who love recycling so much that they were employed to help the council engage with other residents and drive recycling in the city’s most challenging areas.
Born and bred in the borough, our Recycling Champions are friendly and knowledgeable, helping the local community understand what and how to recycle, and even persuading serial contaminators to come clean. Our #RecyclingHeroes have helped to reduce street waste by 54% in 18 months and get more residents involved in our food waste trial, an important project to increase recycling and build a greener future in Westminster.
Improve the way your business handles waste
Managing waste and material use can go a long way in reducing your business’ impact on the environment. This includes implementing responsible waste management solutions such as recycling, anaerobic digestion (for food waste), and energy recovery (for general waste).
For many Westminster businesses, improving waste management and reducing their impact on local communities is part of a sound corporate social responsibility plan. Thinking through how you manage your waste and making improvements around reduction and recycling not only helps alleviate the burden on the environment and your local community, but it also helps enhance the perception of your business, its operations and your brand/image. It allows your customers, staff and other stakeholders to put their trust in your business knowing you are making efforts toward protecting the environment and being a responsible corporate citizen.
By creating a waste management plan, you can set out clearly how you will implement recycling, associated services, measure progress and take action to improve.
To help you get started, use our recycling performance calculator. See a full breakdown of how much waste your business produces, how much you recycle and where improvements can be made.
How Westminster City Council Commercial Waste Services can help your business
Having the right commercial waste collector is an important step in implementing a good waste management system for your business. Your waste collector should share the same values around lowering environmental impact. It is vital you stay vigilant as a business and ensure your waste collector is transparent around telling you exactly where your waste ends up once collected, and this goes beyond which transfer station your waste is tipped before moving on to elsewhere.
Everything the City Council collects is sent to locally based high-performing waste treatment and recycling facilities. Recyclable waste is then turned into raw resources for manufacturing and creates new products. General waste, which cannot be recycled, is used to generate electricity and heat for up to 50,000 London homes each year. Some of this electricity is even used to power our new electric collection trucks. The eRCV (electric refuse collection vehicle) project was even formally recognised at the 2020 LAPV Future Fleet Awards for the ‘Most Sustainable Fleet Management Department’.
Having worked with Westminster businesses for decades, we understand the local business community and go the extra mile to help them. We offer transparency, reliability, partnership, and honesty. We work with you to find the best solutions for your commercial waste collection needs while also taking the proper steps to decrease waste mileage, traffic congestion and air pollution.
Our aim is to assist you to put in place high-quality and sustainable solutions. We want to help you improve your commercial waste arrangements so they contribute positively to local communities and the environment.
What else can you find in the recycling guide for Westminster businesses?
- How to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste
- Getting started with recycling (waste audits, identifying waste streams, choosing bins or bags, presenting waste for collection etc.)
- Having Westminster City Council as your commercial waste collector
- Disposing of waste during events
- Recycling special materials (coffee cups, hazardous waste, food waste etc.)
- Creating and implementing a waste management plan (waste reduction, reuse and recycling plan template included)
- How to manage and improve your business recycling set-up
- Segregating waste and tackling contamination
- Innovation and development with Westminster City Council
- Westminster City Council partnerships (Anglo Office Group, Heart of London Business Alliance etc.)
- Further support for your business (Resources and Waste Strategy, London Environment Strategy etc.)
This article was simply an introduction to what you can find in ‘The ultimate guide to real recycling for businesses in Westminster’. From explaining the ‘4 Rs’ of waste management to introducing our recycling services, creating a waste management plan and much more, you will find everything you need to know about recycling more effectively and become a sustainable business.