Organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand, this year’s Recycle Week theme — ‘Together – We Recycle’ — is all about recognising everyone’s commitment to recycling and their dedication to creating positive change despite the challenges and hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Running from 20th to 27th September, Recycle Week encourages businesses, households and individuals to recycle more often and in the right way. This year’s sponsors, including Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Co-op, Danone and many more, will be funding activities to help inspire people to get involved.
Looking at last year’s successes under the theme ‘Recycling. It’s in our own hands’, the Recycle Week campaign reached over 16 million people across a variety of digital channels. In fact, 91% of people who saw the campaign say they recycled more.
According to Craig Stephens, Recycle Now Campaign Manager, people are recycling more than ever even through these challenging times.
“Our recycling and waste key workers have heroically carried on collecting while the world slowed down around them. We want Recycle Week 2020 to recognise the sacrifices that key workers and citizens have made to keep recycling going and create positive change in the world around us. We’re thrilled that we can count on the support of several major partners to help us do this, and we’re working hard to get more on board.”
How can you take part in this year’s Recycle Week campaign?
- Use #RecycleWeek on social media
- Download the partner pack and Recycle Week assets
- Sign up to the Recycle Week e-newsletter
- Post content related to the ‘Together – We Recycle’ theme
- Light up buildings and offices in green to show your support
- Familiarise yourself with recycling best practices and key considerations (see below)
Getting started: What to consider when recycling
Ready to get involved in Recycle Week? From recycling special items to presenting your waste correctly for collection, the following are some of the best practices and key factors to consider when getting started with recycling and commercial waste management.
One of the best ways to reduce waste is to try to avoid it altogether and devise innovative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. The major benefit of avoiding waste is that it can save you money from buying new replacement goods and from having to pay to get waste collected. Reducing waste generation and incorporating waste reduction procedures in your business model can be done through some of the following examples:
- Only buy what you need and avoid duplicating orders
- Buy in bulk where possible and avoid individually packaged items
- Avoid single-use items such as single-portion servings, bottles, plates, cups, and cutlery in catering operations
- Buy low-waste products that come with little to no packaging
For more ways on how you can reduce the amount of waste your produce, download our guide, ‘9 quick tips for reducing waste to save time, money and the environment.’
Recycling special items
When getting started with recycling, it is important to understand how to dispose of special materials rather than simply throwing them away as general waste.
The following are some examples:
Coffee cups: To prevent coffee cups from being disposed of as general waste, we offer a coffee cup recycling service for businesses, providing specific bins that are used only for recycling coffee cups. We will regularly collect these bins and send them to one of our local facilities for treatment, separating the different plastic and paper fibres to be repurposed into something new (i.e. notepads, paper bags and other paper products). Most of the coffee cups collected by us are even recycled into paper used for the shopping bags of a major West End retailer.
Hazardous waste: Hazardous materials such as acids, chemicals, oil, gas bottles and liquid paint cannot be disposed of as general waste or recycling. They should never be presented in the street for collection or flushed down the drain. You must request a special collection for any hazardous waste.
Batteries: Small volumes of batteries can be recycled for free at local Westminster libraries and at any retailer selling batteries (Ryness, Ryman, Boots, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose etc). Large volumes of batteries can be collected through our collection service.
Unsure how to recycle or dispose of a certain item? Consult our Knowledge Base for more information.
Choosing bins or bags
Which should you choose? Bins or bags? If you have off-street storage space, we strongly recommend using waste and recycling bins or containers for your collections. At Commercial Waste Services, our bins come in a wide range of sizes depending on your storage space and the amount of waste and recycling you produce.
In a situation where you cannot store waste or recycling in bins on your premises, you can use our blue bags for mixed recycling and red bags for general waste. These are sold on a prepaid basis. See here to order your waste bags online.
It is important to remember that food waste cannot be presented on the street for collection in bags as this is a violation of animal by-product regulations. When it is left on the street in bags, it can lead to leaks, bad smells and staining on the pavement, attracting vermin and rodents. If this happens, please book our deep cleansing service to clean it up for you.
Presenting your waste correctly for collection
When it comes to your waste and recycling bins, these are collected at the time stated in your service contract. These should be stored in a secured area where they can easily be accessed by our collection crew.
If you are presenting bags for collection:
- Pay attention to the proper collection time for your street (use this collection time finder to view your street’s schedule)
- You can put your waste bags on the street for collection up to 30 minutes prior to the start of the collection time
- Your bags must be tied up properly and placed directly outside your business. They should not be overloaded with rubbish
- Do not obstruct streets and pavements
- Black bags are prohibited for commercial waste collection
- Bags presented for collection at the wrong time or place can result in fines
Identifying and segregating different waste streams
Segregating waste into single streams, instead of throwing everything away as general waste or mixed recycling, is an effective way to manage and handle your waste while also reducing waste management costs.
To get started, assess which materials are in your waste and recycling as this will give you an idea of the different types of collections you will require. If you need our help, you can book a free waste audit.
For instance, if your business produces large amounts of one particular material, it is best to keep these for a separate collection (e.g. paper and card in offices or glass in hotels and restaurants). By keeping these materials separate, they can be recycled without passing through a sorting facility.
Setting up internal bins
To ensure everyone in your business is doing their part to dispose of waste and recycling in the right way, ensure internal bins are marked with stickers and posters to state what goes in each bin. These are essential to provide all of the information you need to know to separate your waste in the right manner so as to avoid contamination and ensure everything ends up in the correct waste stream.
It is important to note that the internal bins should be communal recycling points. Individual desk-side bins promote poor recycling behaviour and habits and are more costly to service and maintain.
‘Together – We Recycle’
Getting started with effective recycling and waste management is easy when you have the right support and resources. Our recycling guide, ‘The ultimate guide to real recycling for businesses in Westminster’ gives you the knowledge and tools to better manage your waste and ultimately become more sustainable as a business. From explaining the ‘4 Rs’ of waste management to introducing our recycling services and much more, you will effectively find everything you need to know about recycling more effectively.