Christmas waste from your business

12th December 2016

Regardless of the size or sector of your business there will be an impact on your waste stream due to Christmas. It may be increased production to meet seasonal demand or it may be Christmas parties and decorations!

Sources of business waste at Christmas include:

  • Work parties (glass bottles, cans, plastic bottles, food trays, packaging)
  • Secret Santa’s presents (wrapping paper, packaging, unwanted gifts)
  • Christmas Decorations (batteries, waste electrical and electronic equipment, tinsel)
  • Christmas Lights (batteries, waste electrical and electronic equipment)
  • Christmas cards (envelopes, cards)
  • Christmas Tree (real or artificial)

What can be recycled?

Check with your waste carrier as to what exactly can be recycled through your business waste recycling bins. Examples include glass bottles, cans, plastics bottles, envelopes, Christmas cards

What can’t be recycled goes in your general waste – e.g. foil/shiny wrapping paper, tinsel

Christmas lights or other electrical decorations that are broken or have been replaced must not be placed in your general or recycling waste. These are classified as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and must be disposed of with your other WEEE.

Ensure that your business recycling waste does not get contaminated with non-permitted items – this could incur an extra cost to your business.

What are the alternatives to disposal?

Consider if items, particularly decorations, can be reused next year and find a place to store them. This saves on waste disposal costs and buying new decorations next time.

Items in good condition could be donated to charity if they can’t be stored on site. This saves on waste costs, reduces environmental impacts and improves the corporate social responsibility of your business.

Please contact GEP for more information, and have a happy and sustainable Christmas!

Helen White

Environmental Consultant

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