Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Re-using, repairing and remanufacturing help to get maximum value from waste materials and products. Recycling retains less of the value of the product than the other options. However, recycling plays an important role in a circular economy.
Traditional recycling produces items that are of a lower value and quality than the original item or material - this may be known as ‘downcycling’. A typical example of downcycling is plastic, which when recycled is turned into a lower grade plastic.
There is now a growing trend to ‘upcycle’, which means changing an unwanted or discarded item into something with a higher value and quality than the original item - for example upcycling shoe boxes into storage containers; turning a step ladder into a shelf; or painting a piece of furniture.
If you produce, store, transport or dispose of your business waste, you must comply with Duty of Care for waste:
You must comply with special requirements for recycling certain wastes, such as:
It is now mandatory for businesses, to separate key materials for recycling collection and avoid cross cross contamination of recyclates - see 'what you must do' section, above. Good practice recycling guidelines target businesses' staff (so that they meet the business's obligations), customers and households.
Find recycle services in your area. See, for example:
Attend an ’upcycling’ workshop: Upcycled World
SEPA Special Waste Consignment Notes – updated position, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is now accepting special waste consignment notes (SWCNs) by email only.
DAERA Waste Policy Tracker, The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published a Waste policy tracker to stay informed of waste policy developments.
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