Make Money for Your Business: How Recycling Prevents Resource Wastage

When people think about making their operations more efficient, they look at reducing the cost of what they bring in to their business. But are they missing a trick if they aren’t looking at how much it costs to take waste away again? Recycling and waste management is an opportunity to make money for your business, but it’s often overlooked – it’s a necessity that stays under the radar.

That’s because most people still think in terms of supply chains. If materials come in, become products, and are shipped out again, the process has the illusion of a beginning and an end. In reality, if you consider the whole lifecycle of your resources, you can unlock the potential of your recycling and waste management, making your business more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly.

How much is poor waste management costing you?


Average annual waste per business due to the disposal of recyclable materials

The costs of poor waste management 

How much is poor waste management really costing you? A study by Resource Efficient Scotland found that the average business was wasting around £7,000 a year by disposing of recyclable materials(1).

Sending materials for recycling means you could avoid spending money on landfill or incineration, and if you collect high enough quantities of quality material, you can even add a revenue stream to your business by selling your recyclable materials as a commodity. So if you’re collecting all of your waste in the same bin, you’re missing out.

A sustainable approach to improve reputation


Percentage of British people who prefer to purchase thier products from a sustainable seller

How much money is recycling worth for your business? 

It makes sense for organisations to recycle better because businesses can unlock cost savings through better recycling systems – and some even add revenue streams to their bottom line from the high quality materials they collect. Even outside of direct savings, the implicit advantages of pushing for better recycling cannot be understated.

Having a sustainable approach improves your reputation, and can influence your customers’ purchasing decisions. A recent report concluded that 81% of British people preferred to purchase their products from a sustainable seller, so the wider public is definitely aware of how much a business wastes(2). Recycling makes money for your business on both a macro- and micro-level.

How to prevent resource waste for your business 

Businesses should futureproof their operations by investing in systems that prioritise material quality to improve the amount they can send for recycling – as well as the prices they can achieve for their material.

Confusion on recycling


Percentage of people in the UK still confused by recycling processes

Separating your waste streams into different bins – keeping paper, metals, glass, food, and plastic apart from each other – is the key to increasing the quality of the material you want to send for recycling. It’s also important to reinforce these better operations with more widespread education for your teams – a recent study found that 78% of people in the UK are still confused by proper recycling processes(3).

Start by asking yourself: how does material move around your operations? If you’re bringing recyclable fibre back to your distribution centres from elsewhere on your estate, you need to be putting quality at the heart of your recycling infrastructure.

Maximise your recycling operations 

With loads highly scrutinised and recycling processes using only the highest quality material, DS Smith could help you to make the most of your recycling operations.

What can you do to make your business more efficient? Do you need your bins collected less often, to reduce your costs and increase your recycling? Could you be procuring for more than just cost, and ensuring your products and packaging are more easily recyclable, for you and for your customers?

DS Smith’s recycling specialists can help you make your business more economically and environmentally sustainable. Get in touch with us today on +44 (0)2920 102048, or click below.



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