Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You may be able to reuse materials and equipment in your own business or another organisation may be able to reuse your waste.
Reusing your own business waste can reduce your costs as you won't need to buy raw materials or pay to dispose of the waste. You may also be able to generate income from materials and goods that are valuable to another organisation.
The goods and materials you can reuse will depend on your type of business. Office-based businesses, for example, can:
Manufacturing businesses, for example, may be able to reuse packaging and off-cuts, and capture waste heat generated by manufacturing processes for heating or reuse elsewhere in production.
You should speak to your staff and ask them to 'think before they throw' as someone else may want to use their waste.
You can offer waste materials, second-hand products, end-of-line products and obsolete equipment to other organisations which can use them without alteration.
You could try business-to-business online waste exchanges which trade a wide range of used industrial materials and equipment. You may also be able to sell goods and materials on online auction sites.
Scrapstores may take some of your waste materials such as fabrics, plastics, paper and card. They can make use of scrap material for children's play activities and this will save you recycling costs.
Some charities will collect your waste items at their expense. Some are licensed to take electrical and electronic goods. Schools may take unwanted computers, electrical equipment and materials. In Kind Direct collects mostly end-of-line and second-hand products on behalf of various charities and schools. The Furniture Re-use Network is the co-ordinating body for 400 recycling and reuse charities.
Websites such as Giving World Online connect businesses to charities and community projects that need donated goods and materials.
Donating goods and materials to schools and charities can improve the image of your business and demonstrate your corporate social responsibility policy.
You are responsible for making sure you comply with your waste responsibilities, such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations.
The NIEA has produced a guidance that explains the reuse of materials, and when waste legislation does not apply.
SEPA has produced guidance on how the waste regulations apply to reuse of goods.
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