Many years ago, most waste ended up as general waste. Waste companies dug large holes (called landfills) and poured waste into it. The government soon realised that this wasn’t sustainable and that, with land shortages and increasing waste, the UK was heading for a problem. It started increasing landfill tax to force waste providers to seek alternative methods of disposal. This is now translating into legislation, with Scotland leading the way.
A certain amount of general waste is unavoidable. Our role is to ensure that it is minimised and that what is left is disposed of as cost-effectively as possible – ideally with zero waste to landfill through further recycling or a waste-to-energy solution.
We work closely with client teams to ensure that waste is segregated as far as possible into streams that can be recycled or sold. In many cases we work with clients as consultants to investigate a wide range of alternatives such as how raw materials are packaged and what their suppliers can do to backfill items like cardboard.
Where general waste is unavoidable, we look at the most cost-effective way of disposing of it – for example, by using compactors where volumes make this economical. We ensure that container sizes and collection frequencies are optimal and that the latter are flexible where necessary – schools, for instance, may wish to reduce or stop collections during holidays.