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Waste: out of sight cannot be out of mind.

Waste.

You bin it and forget it. Pat yourself on the back for recycling into your blue bin, brown bin, grey bin and food waste bin. Happy days. Once all your debris is sorted into those cheerful, colour-coordinated wheelies, and that big noisy lorry arrives, they’re someone else’s problem. Aren’t they? After all, you’ve done your bit for the planet. Hell, yeah.

Well, this may be the case for responsible, endlessly sorting, householders across the nation who are lucky enough to have fairly enlightened councils. But the picture can be an awful lot different for those of us trying to run a business.

Businesses, by their very nature, create a heck of a lot of waste. No matter how planet-conscious they are. And that often means falling back on mixed-waste skips to keep your yard clear, safe, and certifiable. If you’ve a mixed-waste skip outside your premises right now, it’s likely that the company who provided it have assured you of their segregation processes. That they conscientiously pick through to identify, segregate and record, recyclables and landfill.

But how can you be sure?

Companies UK-wide who are working hard to attain, or maintain, ISO 14001 certification have been dealt a blow in their efforts, simply because they are not sure. Because they cannot prove – irrevocably – that the third-party waste companies they have contracted are doing what they claim.

To satisfy the requirements of ISO 14001:2015, your company will need evidence: not only of segregation of waste, but how much your business has sent to landfill. Because the planet is important.

It’s no longer okay to wave goodbye to the stuff you’ve discarded and trust in the guy you paid to handle it. Today is a new age of responsibility. You need proof that your rubbish has been dealt with properly. Recycled where possible, where, how, and who by. Or, if not recyclable, in what quantities it was buried, in a seagull-squalling landfill.

We’ve become used to flushing, sorting, ‘putting the bins out’, and getting our stuff out of sight and out of mind. But if you’re a business, your waste is still your own. Always. To safeguard your certification, get interested in your garbage.

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