Many businesses have not got the message on recycling and send most, if not all, of their rubbish to landfill, a study by a new study has found.
According to the survey, up to 80% of companies have no green policy in place and do not separate recyclable waste from non-recyclable.
Many businesses will not even sort paper, food and glass waste, despite the practice being widespread in domestic waste collections.
“It reflects very badly upon us as a nation,” said Jonathan Ratcliffe recycling manager for Business Waste Management Solutions, which conducted the survey. “Other countries have forged ahead with commercial recycling, but a high proportion of UK companies seemingly can’t be bothered and contribute to the 228m tons of waste we produce every year,” he continued.
Business Waste found that the most common things business are not recycling are paper and cardboard, plastics, electrical waste and old computers, printer cartridges and green waste for composting.
The survey also found that some companies are prepared to break the law in order to reduce or eliminate their waste-handling costs.
“We’re well aware that some companies will still fly-tip in this day-and-age,” said Ratcliffe, “but we’ve found some smaller businesses prepared to admit that they dispose of their waste at the household tip while posing as a member of the public.
“It’s a dangerous game – companies that breach their waste management duty of care face unlimited fines if they get caught.”
Fortunately, the recycling firm points out, the government is incentivising green policies and recycling through tax breaks for energy efficiency, and the landfill tax which penalises organisations that do no recycle their waste.
“At £72 per ton going to landfill, it soon adds up for companies that don’t recycle,” concluded Ratcliffe.