By now, we’ve all come to realise that ridding ourselves of waste in an ethical manner is a good thing. As our population continues to grow, our use of resources grows with us, putting an ever-increasing strain our planet. And, with the news taking a more apocalyptic tone recently regarding our world’s general health, it’s becoming more important than ever for us all to make the effort in good waste disposal practice. The same especially goes for commercial businesses that may be creating excess waste on their projects. Industries such as construction and demolition can end up with a large amount of waste that, if dealt with correctly, can be reused again.
However, aside from some of the more obvious benefits that can be gained from positive waste disposal, there are actually a variety of positives. From keeping on the right side of the law to simply creating a healthy environment for you and your family, good waste disposal practice is in your best interest.
With this in mind, we at Brewster Bros have put together a list of some of the biggest benefits that responsible waste disposal can make for both for yourself and for the wider world.
Saving the environment
We cannot stress enough how important the ethical disposal of waste is for the future of our environment. In UK households alone, 30 million tonnes of waste is generated every year, with a large percentage of it ending up in landfills up and down the country. Aside from taking up finite space on our small island, these landfills emit an array of harmful gases into the atmosphere which in turn contributes to the effect of greenhouse gas production if not used in an appropriate way; this is the same when creating new products from our limited resources as greenhouse gases are emitted during production.
However, we are finding new and innovative ways to counteract these problems. For starters, as a country, we have become much more effective at recycling our waste. In comparison to our below average 17% recycling rate in 2003/2004, we have been able to reach a rate of around 43%. In incorporating better waste management by recycling, we are reducing our emissions created through the processing of materials and the excess fumes generated from landfills. It also helps to retain more of our finite natural resources such as timber, steel and plastic, meaning less pressure on the surrounding environment.
Even non-recyclable materials are finding new uses in today’s eco-conscious world. Unlike normal landfills that allow rubbish to languish, Waste to Energy Plants are using our waste materials to create energy through processes such as gasification, incineration and pyrolysis, making usable fuel commodities such as methane, ethanol and synthetic fuels.
As we are of course a part of the environment, the benefits of effective waste disposal are also extremely beneficial for our general health and well being. As we’ve already mentioned, landfills that don’t utilise an efficient waste to energy strategy can release large amounts of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Some of these gases remain as solid compounds in the air and can cause a range of detrimental effects to our health, from asthma to more serious conditions like emphysema.
An extreme example of this problem can be seen in the township of Agbogbloshie near the capital city of Accra in Ghana. The district has become known as the world’s largest electronics graveyard, where huge amounts of electronic waste end up strewn across the landscape where they are burnt for their raw materials. This has caused untold effects on the population, with spikes in respiratory diseases becoming ever more common.
This is, of course, the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to waste management and disposal. However, as more and more cities are becoming polluted throughout the UK, following good disposal practices can help to keep our air clean. The other added benefit is in the reduction of pests and vermin that could spread disease.
Industry creation and cost reduction
There’s money to be made in the waste disposal industry, and as we become more and more effective at our waste management, an increasing number of jobs are being created, ranging from entry level to highly skilled technical positions. For example, the recycling industry has seen a boom in its employment rates in recent decades, with an estimate of 51,000 new jobs being created if the UK is able to reach a target of 71% recycled material.
The cost of materials will inevitably drop as a result of proper waste management. A lot of the materials used in a host of products can be easily reused, especially in the construction industry in the form of recycled aggregates. This further helps in the creation of a circular economy, meaning better prices for everyone.
With the UK’s commitment to reaching a recycling goal of 50% by 2020, it is now becoming more common to see the enforcement of various laws put in place to protect both the environment and society from excess waste build-up. Therefore, following positive waste disposal etiquette can make the difference between your government compliance and a hefty fine or prison time.
The main piece of legislation in place to monitor waste management is the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The bill covers a range of problems that the UK faces in its fight against waste build-up from the scourge of fly-tipping to individuals and businesses disposing of their waste without following the proper channels. In not following these rules, you are putting yourself at risk of being prosecuted, so it’s definitely in your best interest to dispose of your waste properly.
Tips on keeping on top of your waste disposal
Understanding the benefits of waste disposal is only half the battle; it’s also important to enact the changes in order to reap those benefits. With this in mind, here are a few handy tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re disposing of your waste effectively.
– Businesses have a duty of care when it comes to their waste management. Depending on the company type you may have to adhere to a strict set of rules when getting rid of your rubbish. If you decide to dispose of your own waste, as a standard, you must produce ‘waste transfer notes’ which detail the specificities of your waste disposal. This allows the authorities to monitor your waste output and ensure you’re remaining compliant.
– You can also have a private company get rid of your rubbish for you, saving on time and money. However, it is important to work with a licenced professional. Some waste disposal companies may not have the correct credentials so check that they have their waste carrier license and that they are registered under the environment agency before doing business.
Put your waste to the best possible use with Brewster Bros
As you can see, keeping on top of your waste removal does have a variety of benefits, so make sure you’re working with a company that can help you achieve them. Here at Brewster Bros, our ethos of sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, that’s why we have opened the UK’s largest, state of the art waste recycling plant here in West Lothian. Utilising a super efficient wet processing system, we are able to provide industry-leading waste management services and quality recycled aggregates for a variety of operations in construction and demolition.
In Scotland, construction materials make up close to 50% of the country’s waste so we at Brewster Bros are proud to be doing our bit both for our country’s environment and its people.
For more information on our services or range of recycled aggregates, visit our website or speak to a member of our team on 01506 431 321.