Global waste management issues are impacting the UK market and many of our existing clients are finding that there are cost-saving opportunities to be explored.

The focus on environmental pollution due to plastic waste and the need for businesses to adopt initiatives that promote sustainability are commonplace in today’s society. Pressure from consumers demands a response from business. We help our clients to understand that changes need not cost the earth and that there are often savings opportunities to be explored.

Within the waste industry, there has been ongoing discussion about the importance of properly segregating waste streams to ensure maximum recyclability. The ‘Dry Mixed Recycling’ (DMR) bin is an ‘all in one bin solution’ for recycling and is a common solution across the UK in businesses and in many of our homes. A few years ago, there was a broad array of materials that could be placed in commercial DMR bins and initially some larger suppliers offered this service for free.

Recently, several factors on the national and international scene are now reducing the attractiveness of such bins to our clients. Suppliers have clamped down on what can and can’t go in the bin with the introduction of stringent contamination tolerances and the banning of certain waste materials.

More recently, there have been larger than average price rises (the latest in April 2018) to the point that DMR now costs approximately 70 to 80% of a General Waste bin. Many predict that this trend is likely to continue.

In some cases, waste suppliers are no longer offering such a service due a lack of commercial viability.

So, why the change? This emerging issue has arisen because of a ban on low-quality recyclables entering China (a country that used to take a large proportion of UK waste). Contrast that with a lack of infrastructure in the UK to recycle such wastes and we are seeing more waste heading for incineration rather than recycling – which is more expensive.

Mixing waste streams makes it difficult for the waste supplier to separate the waste streams for recycling. Recent statistics gathered by prominent waste management companies highlight that the total amount of collected recycling that cannot be recycled has now reached 30%.

Nevertheless, market changes produce opportunities and the changing face of the waste industry in the UK presents opportunities to deflect cost rises if you have the knowledge.

As the rise in DMR costs is only likely to continue, we are now working with our clients to stay ahead of the market and actively replace DMR systems with alternatives which are proving to be simple and cost effective. Retailers and manufacturers are particularly likely to benefit from evaluating these areas considering recent changes.

Opportunities are evolving for businesses that are keen to reduce their overheads in this area – don’t miss out! Get in touch with us today to find out more about waste expense management with ERA UK.

Article by: Dan Howells