North West general waste reduction with increased recycling

The Northwest Network implemented a programme of initiatives to reduce the volume of general waste produced.

The aim was to move waste up the waste hierarchy by reducing the volume of general waste and increase recycling, with the first step understanding the waste generated and the second exploring opportunities for improvement. Firstly, to understand the waste generated, a general waste skip was sampled and emptied, the findings of which demonstrated the skip contained a proportion of items that could be recycled. From the result of this investigation, the following initiatives were implemented:

• Environmental Champions assigned to each depot to champion waste reduction and increased recycling

• Reviewing opportunities to recycle – ensuring enough recycling facilities were available in each depot and sized accordingly.

• Communication to change behaviour around in line with the waste hierarchy with the focus on reducing waste and recycling.

• Weekly calls including the Environment Champions and Biffa to provide feedback on the improvements and understand any further for further improvement

• A plan detailing SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound) to encourage accountability and targets to be achieved.

• Continually communicating across the network.

The programme of general waste reduction and improved recycling segregation has resulted in a 64% reduction in general waste. This was achieved with the support of the Environment Champions to ensure the depots have well-managed waste segregation facilities and working in collaboration with all employees to raise awareness of the impact of poor waste segregation. The achievement is testament to all involved which demonstrates the knowledge that all in the Northwest network understand how to recycle and how to do it correctly.

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