For many public sector organisations waste will represent a significant enough proportion of carbon emissions to warrant some action. Reducing the amount of waste you produce can reduce your impact on climate change.
- Reduce the emissions from energy – recycling of material requires significantly less energy than producing products from raw materials. Prevention or re-use of materials is even better, thereby decreasing the energy required to extract, transport and manufacture products.
- Reduced emissions from landfill – by preventing, reusing, recycling and composting.
What to do
Implementing some of the following actions will help reduce your organisations impact on climage change.
- Reduce the amount of waste you are sending to landfill by reuse and recycling.
- Reduce the amount of waste you are generating in the first instance by putting in place prevention and reduction measures and by looking at sustainable procurement.
How to do it
Waste awareness among SMEs has been increasing steadily over the last number of years with more and more businesses taking a Reduce/Reuse/Recycle approach to waste management. There are a number of programmes and tools that can help you manage your waste in a more efficient way. These are outlined below:
Your Local Authority has the ultimate responsibility for waste management planning in your area. For information on waste management in your area contact your Local Authority Environmental Awareness Officer who will be happy to assist you.
- Consider the life cycle of a product when purchasing supplies for your organisation. Try to buy products that you know can be easily recycled in order to lower your organisations/institutions waste outputs.
- Also consider the shelf life or lifespan of items before purchasing. Research any impending product or technological innovations that may make some products become obsolete. This can be part of your organisations sustainable procurement policy for purchasing.
- Encourage your staff to bring a packed lunch that is in reusable containers. Your institution/body could even provide reusable lunch bags and mugs with your company logo for them to use!
- Require that printers are set to print on both sides and that recycled paper is always used.
- Reduce wasted paper by using backs of sheets for scrap paper.
- Try to send more emails and documents online, rather than printing out memos or reports.
- Segregate waste at the office in order to ensure that it is appropriately disposed. In the canteen, you could create individual bins for people to separate out their wastes (compostables, recyclables, etc.) in order to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
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