Environmental Information Exchange

Why be waste efficient?

Cost Savings

Waste disposal contracts are more expensive than recycling contracts because of the additional charge of landfill tax.  Landfill tax will continue to increase ensuring disposal is the least cost effective option for the vast majority of waste treatment. By reducing disposal contracts, cost savings can be maximised. Other cost savings can come from reducing procurement of materials destined to become waste, and staff time saved by more efficient processes. The quick energy page details steps that can be taken to save energy costs. Our action pages provide steps that can be taken to reduce waste costs.

Mitigating the effects of climate change and pollution

Landfills in the UK cause contaminated water and soil, and in some cases emissions and air pollution.  Incineration of waste creates air pollution and hazardous waste.  Further, there are environmental impacts from energy used to collect, transport, and process waste, including the production of greenhouse gases.  There are also environmental impacts from the extraction of source material and production of materials.  All of these impacts are greatly reduced through reduction, reuse, and recycling.

Conserving non renewable resources

Non renewable resources include rare minerals and fossil fuels used to create and transport materials. These resources have been created naturally over thousands of years, and have only finite supplies.  By reducing waste, non renewable resources are conserved and enabled to last longer.

To overcome the problems with rarer minerals, alternative materials and processes need to be considered. These might include alternative materials for batteries, electronic circuits, and a range of other popular products.

Complying with European and UK waste legislation

Businesses are obligated to comply with a range of waste legislation.  EiE provide a summary of the most widely relevant legislation , however visit Defra for a full list of waste legislation.

Perception

Customers and other stakeholders may react negatively to organisations who are wasteful, non-compliant, and showing little interest in reducing waste.  Conversely, stakeholders, including staff may gravitate towards a waste efficient organisation.