Waste problem

Waste is a massive problem. World Bank estimates show that, globally, we produce approximately 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste each year. However, at least 33% of that waste is not managed in an environmentally sound manner — and that’s an extremely conservative estimate. The importance of waste segregation is something that we can no longer afford to ignore.

The situation is much the same in the UK. In 2018, only 44.1% of municipal waste was successfully recycled. Admittedly, this was an increase from the rate of 43.8% in the previous year. Low recycling rates can be largely attributed to inadequate infrastructure for processing our rubbish, which has, historically, been sent overseas to countries like China for processing. But with China enacting a ban on foreign paper and plastic waste imports, the UK faces the risk of having a waste treatment capacity shortage of up to 6 million tonnes by 2030.

Fortunately, the UK government has committed to an ambitious 65% municipal recycling rate by 2035, adopting a large part of the European Union’s Circular Economy Package (CEP) into UK law. The initiative also seeks to ensure that no more than 10% of municipal waste ends up in landfills.

To achieve these recycling targets, both households and commercial organisations will have to do their part by accurately segregating their waste. For businesses, sorting the trade waste they produce is a critical component of an effective reuse and recycling system.

UK law also requires businesses to be responsible for their trade waste by properly storing and sorting it. More specifically, businesses are expected to do the following:

  • Keep waste in a secure area.

  • Store trade waste in containers that will prevent waste from escaping.

  • Label waste containers clearly to indicate the type of waste they contain.

  • Use waterproof containers if rain can cause waste to leak contaminated run-off.

Businesses that handle hazardous waste also have extra storage and sorting responsibilities. For starters, they need to store hazardous wastes separately to ensure they don’t contaminate each other. Hazardous waste items such as batteries, electrical appliances, light bulbs and electronics should be labelled accordingly to make it easier to recycle them.

/ source: https://axil-is.com/waste-segregation/