The real value of what you’re throwing out

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Recycling is no longer a new concept, but some attention to its management in your business will reduce your disposal costs and help ensure that your company’s environmental objectives are met.

The contracting, pricing and transparency of waste services are difficult administrative issues for a company to negotiate – particularly when striving to achieve best possible environmental outcomes. When it comes to waste management, as well as having an understanding of the main areas where waste is generated in your business, your environmental and financial interests are best managed with a solid understanding of the way that waste is typically priced, and the functioning of the recycling market.
Your businesses’ general waste costs are a combination of 3 things: Waste Levy, landfill operator costs and the cost of transporting the material.  Collectively, these three inputs mean your likely cost of disposal will be in the region of $450/t.
Conversely, any material separated and collected as a recyclable is done so because the material itself has a value. As in any market, the value of a commodity is dictated by supply (virgin materials & your recyclable waste) and demand (generally manufacturers of various products) which tend to fluctuate over time and with technological change. Within that is a key point – manufacturers producing products with recycled content want, and inevitably pay, for each empty bottle, tin or cardboard box that is collected as recycling – effectively subsidising the cost of disposal/collection for these materials. Due to the value of recyclables there are some cases where the business disposing of the material may even be paid for their waste.

Edge Environment is in a unique position to assist business to reduce waste and save money through waste assessments and management assistance. As a grantee under the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Bintrim and Industrial Ecology programs this service is offered free of charge in Sydney.

To learn more about Edge’s Waste Advisory services and the Bin Trim programme, contact us or visit the Industrial Ecology part of our website.

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