Waste management company, BusinessWaste.co.uk, recently surveyed 1700 small businesses and discovered that around 90% of them were not aware that waste laws for businesses will change at the beginning of 2015. The Customer Services Manager at BusinessWaste.co.uk is Alex Wignall. He said, ‘It is shocking that 90 percent of the businesses we spoke to had no idea that these changes are set to come into law very soon. The cost of not complying with these new regulations could be catastrophic for businesses – small businesses in particular.’
What you Must Do in 2015
An amendment to the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, based on the EU Waste Framework Directive, means that you will be legally obliged to separate recyclable materials from your landfill waste. This is so that the waste collection services can collect it separately.
As long as you keep materials like paper, glass, metals and plastics separate from the non-recyclable waste, you don’t have to separate the different types of recyclable material to stay within the law. But different local authorities have different recycling arrangements and some may require this. The way they arrange their domestic collections will give you a clue about it, but if you are not sure about it, your outsourced bookkeepers may know through their contacts. Otherwise, you can check the local authority website or you can contact the waste collection service you currently use for advice.
What you Should do now
If you don’t currently separate your recycling, you need to be organising this now so that you can be ready by the New Year. There should be some advantages to the new regulations. If your business gets rid of waste to landfill sites, the fees and taxes you pay for this will be reduced along with the weight of your landfill waste. This should offset the cost of investing in any new bins or recycling bags you need.
What Could Happen Otherwise
As Alex Wignall pointed out, the penalties for non-compliance are unlimited in the Crown Courts, and they can be very severe. Even magistrates can impose fines of up to £5,000 on a business that is brought before them. So make sure your business doesn’t get a criminal record by sorting out your waste management arrangements now.
Discussing regulation that has the potential to affect your bottom line with your outsourced bookkeepers can often be helpful. All their clients have to meet these challenges, and they see what is working for others. Talking it over with them could be the next best thing to all those time consuming networking events.