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by Craig Pryce May 14, 2024

From growth plans to financial plans and projections, businesses in the UK need plans for all areas of their organisation. Developing a strong waste management plan is no exception. This crucial roadmap provides an overview of all the waste your business produces and ensures it’s disposed of efficiently, safely, and following legislation.

If you’re a business looking at ways to manage your waste better, you’ve come to the right place. Learn what makes a watertight business plan for recycling and waste management and how it can benefit your workplace’s culture, productivity, environment, and bottom line.

What is a waste management plan?

A waste management plan is a written strategy outlining what your business must do to achieve its goals for managing and dealing with waste. It should cover all parts of your recycling and rubbish activity, including the volumes of waste generated and the frequency of bin collections. 

Is it a legal requirement to have a waste management plan?

Construction and demolition projects used to require SWMPs (site waste management plans) legally. However, since October 2013, they’ve only been required if the project has an estimated construction cost above £300,000.  

All businesses should still be aware they have a Duty of Care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, meaning they must take all reasonable steps to ensure their waste products are disposed of safely and correctly.

What types of industries use waste management plans?

Waste management plans are used throughout all types of industries. From responsibly handling food waste in restaurants to guiding cardboard and paper recycling in offices and retail premises, they enable businesses to strategise how waste from the building will be handled.

They are versatile and can be used in any company, regardless of size. Whichever industry you’re in, the plan must include the necessary details while focusing on reducing waste and avoiding overflowing bins through effective measures.

What should a waste management plan include?

A waste management plan should cover the following:

  • The types of waste streams
  • The amount of waste created
  • Targets for reducing the amount of each waste ending up in landfill
  • Bin sizes and types for storage
  • Frequency of collection for all bins
  • Descriptions of recycling and reuse methods for each material
  • Cost of waste management (wheelie bin locks, transportation of waste materials, etc.)
  • Details of communication and training to support and encourage participation from all employees
  • A review and monitoring process to measure the plan’s efficiency and make necessary changes.

Who is responsible for a waste management plan?

Large enterprises sometimes employ a dedicated waste management person or team to control waste handling for large projects. If your company doesn’t have people in these positions, you can designate one or a group of people who champion waste management to manage your business waste. This will ensure your waste management plan is stuck to. 

For construction or demolition work, the project or site manager is responsible for drafting a SWMP, with the assistance of environmental consultants or waste management experts. 

Waste management plan benefits

There are many reasons for your business to produce a waste management document. Here are some of the top benefits.

Increased environmental awareness

A waste plan provides insight into how much waste you’re creating and your subsequent collection and disposal methods. You can then plan recycling and reuse services so your rubbish is better processed and positively impacts the environment. 

Using commercial wheelie bins and other easily implementable practices can improve your organisation’s green credentials. Promoting recycling and reducing landfill reliance will help protect biodiversity, reduce pollution, and conserve natural resources.

Increased organisational effectiveness

Waste management plans mean resources are used more effectively. By assessing the waste types and volume in your business, you can change materials, orders, and processes to reduce the amount of waste created.

Also, if all your employees know the steps they need to go through to dispose of their waste, there is less indecisiveness, which leads to greater productivity (more time focused on work or a project). 

It’s no secret that an organised waste disposal and collection system is crucial in maintaining cleanliness and a clutter-free environment. This gives a substantial boost to creativity and promotes a healthier workforce.

Saves money

Disposing of waste at landfills doesn’t come cheap, especially if it’s arriving in large amounts. A waste management plan can help you avoid landfill tax by finding cost-effective ways to recycle, reuse, and recover materials. With a few changes, your venture will look a lot more profitable.

Reduces fly-tipping

A clear waste disposal plan prevents businesses from becoming complacent or taking shortcuts regarding waste management. Fly-tipping is common for construction waste but should be avoided at all costs. Not only is it bad for the environment, but it can also result in hefty fines and even prison sentences.

Law compliance

As mentioned, anyone planning a construction or demolition project worth £300,000 or more must have a waste management plan by law. Even if you don’t meet this requirement or are simply looking to improve the day-to-day waste management at your workplace, don’t forget your Duty of Care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

You can add these responsibilities to your strategy so they aren’t missed. For example, completing a waste transfer note for every piece that leaves your premises. 

Strengthens business reputation and prospects

Customers are more likely to support companies that value the environment and foster a sustainable culture. A waste management plan will show your customers and business partners you care about where your waste ends up. This will enhance your reputation, securing more tenders in the future.

What happens if I do not make a waste management plan?

Even if your business or construction site doesn’t legally require a waste management plant, having one can save you effort, money, and time. Identifying potential problems before they occur and keeping your environment free of rubbish can play a massive role in a project's success or failure and a business's day-to-day running.

Construction and demolition projects that meet the legal obligations for writing a waste management plan shouldn’t ignore this requirement. Failure to comply can lead to £50,000 fines and on-the-spot penalties or mean you make the headlines for all the wrong reasons.  

How WBS can support your waste management business plan

Waste management plans can improve organisational efficiency and transform the way you manage your resources and waste. A critical part of this is ensuring you provide different bins to collect various waste streams, which are easily accessible and clearly labelled.

Whether you need more outdoor wheelie bins, clinical waste containers, or wheelie bin storage advice, contact Wheelie Bin Solutions to discover how we can support your recycling and waste management business plan.

Craig Pryce

Craig Pryce

With over 17 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry, Craig is passionate about making recycling easier and reducing the negative impact of litter. He has been the managing director of Wheelie Bin Solutions (WBS) since January 2016, and prides the company on his expert knowledge, top-quality products, and customer service. His proudest moment was when WBS supported the 2012 Olympic Games, working in partnership with Contenur UK to supply over 9000 bin containers to all Olympic venues. Craig is always keen to share his knowledge, so whether you need advice about the benefits of a wheelie bin lock, or ideas for alternative uses for your wheelie bin, Craig will ensure your recycling and waste disposal habits are gold medal worthy.