Tackling climate change is one of the biggest global challenges we currently face. You only need to look at how frequently it features in our daily news. If your organisation wants to make a difference – now – then a partnership with us could contribute to the challenge.
At Westminster City Council we are committed to doing our part towards the reversal of climate change through our innovative and ethical recycling practices and with our brand new electrified fleet of waste collection vehicles.
So why now? And what can we do together?
Why is it such a good time to act now? COP26
Businesses and world leaders are joining forces for the upcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in an effort to further the cause. The summit will be held in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021 to accelerate the action laid out in the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
There is no part too small to be played in the fight against climate change, so we encourage you to get involved now. Here’s what those working with COP26 and, more locally, Commercial Waste Services are doing, and how your business can play a part.
One of the ultimate goals of the summit is to secure global net zero by mid-century and limit the global temperature rise to just 1.5 degrees. Two of the keys to achieving this are to speed up the switch to electric vehicles and to encourage investment in renewables – areas that we are actively working on ourselves at Commercial Waste Services.
Electrification of our collection fleet
One of the biggest changes we are making at Westminster City Council to combat climate change is the introduction of a brand new fleet of electric vehicles.
In partnership with Veolia, we have recently opened Westminster’s latest fully electric street cleansing depot on Farm Street as part of our commitments to sustainability and decarbonisation for cleaner air and a protection of the environment.
Our new fleet of 60 electric vehicles includes e-trikes for litter picking, electric refuse collection vehicles (e-RCVs) and e-sweepers. By next year our entire collection operation will have been completely electrified. The all-electric fleet and charging facilities will ensure that Westminster’s streets are kept clean whilst noise and pollution levels are kept to a minimum.
Swapping from diesel trucks to an electrified fleet will save the equivalent of 1300 cars off the road each year and save 40,000 tonnes of carbon over the life of the project. This will lead to an 89% reduction of CO2e emissions compared to a diesel fleet, in line with Westminster City Council’s carbon net zero by 2030 plans.
As well as having an impact on climate change, reducing our carbon output will help improve air quality and reduce the pollution that is so damaging to our health.
Our fleet electrification project has also allowed us to stay up and running for regular collections during the current fuel shortage, whereas the service of some commercial waste providers was impacted on by the limited availability of diesel.
What can you do? Choose to work with a commercial waste provider that has already committed to the switch to electric vehicles.
Recycling more helps fight climate change
Recycling is about much more than just being able to use materials again. Extracting and processing raw resources (wood, oil, ore, etc.) to make new materials (such as paper, plastics, metals, etc.) requires a lot of energy.
Recycling normally saves energy because the materials being recycled usually require much less processing to turn them into new materials again. The largest savings are often made when recycling metals, as these materials take a huge amount of energy to create from scratch, but only a fraction of that when recycled. For example, recycling aluminium can save up to 14,000 kWh per tonne. That is the same amount of electricity that four British households use on average over a year. Instead of using iron ore to make steel, using scrap to manufacture new steel cuts down on air pollution by 86%, water usage by 40% and water pollution by 76%.
Paper recycling not only saves trees from being turned into new paper but it also saves significant volumes of water and chemicals that are needed to produce it. Manufacturing recycled paper saves 3,799 kWh electricity per tonne compared to making paper from wood pulp. This is enough energy to power a standard light bulb continuously for almost five years.
Most energy, such as the heat and electricity that are used to manufacture or transport new materials and products, is obtained from burning fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil, which submit significant quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 production is one of the major contributors towards climate change, so anything that can be done to save on CO2 emissions should be implemented as soon as possible.
Recycling your commercial waste materials is a step that your business can take that will have a hugely positive impact on climate change and the health of the environment.
According to recent figures, 64% of businesses do not currently have an environmental plan in place. This may seem like a daunting prospect, but we can help you score better in this respect.
We can provide everything you need to get set up for improved commercial waste recycling – from supplying the right type of waste and recycling bags and the correct bins, to waste audits and advice on waste management.
What can you do? Get in touch today so we can help your business manage its waste and reduce the impact of climate change.
Proper waste management and best recycling practices for your business
As global action is being taken through the work of organizations like COP26, we are also doing what we can to reduce our carbon impact by ensuring the waste we collect from your businesses is recycled and processed to high environmental standards, saving on CO2 emissions. In order to boost how much you recycle there are simple things that your business can put in place to help.
Proper processes for internal waste handling should be built into your company policies going forward. By separating your waste correctly you will reduce how much general you have to dispose of and increase how much can be collected for recycling.
Improving the quality of recycling is important to ensure it can be reprocessed into new raw materials.
What can you do? Take a look at our guides to find out more about what waste goes where and what we do with the commercial waste we collect. If you are not already using our services, consider switching your waste management and recycling to us, knowing we are committed to helping the climate in all aspects of our operation.
To find out more about recycling and how to improve your waste management, download our ultimate guide to recycling by clicking the link below.