Businesses achieve an 82% reduction in waste to landfill

This spring, the not-for profit environmental accreditation scheme Investors in the Environment (iiE) called for businesses to take part in the Zero Waste challenge. The results are now in and local organisations achieved on average a fantastic 82% reduction in waste to landfill.

Businesses were encouraged to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, to help the environment whilst saving money. 30 businesses took part in this year’s challenge, and there were some truly fantastic achievements, including:

• Walters Ltd reduced its waste to landfill by 99.8% and office paper recycling by 33%.
• Peterborough Environment City Trust achieved zero waste to landfill.
• Shield Technologies achieved zero waste to landfill and a 33% reduction on recycling waste.
• PPS Print introduced composting and all bins were taped, achieving zero waste to landfill.
• Crusader Traffic reduced their waste to landfill by 81.25%.

The most common initiatives were:

Ban the bin – General waste bins were removed from under desks and a central bin was set up so members of staff had to think before they threw their waste away. 
Tape the bins shut – All general waste bins were taped up so there was no opportunity for anyone to use them. Only recycle waste was allowed, which encouraged staff to consider what they brought into the office.
Food waste bins were installed – During the week, the addition of the extra bin helped reduce a substantial amount of general waste.
Encouraging packed lunches – The most effective way of reducing your waste is by eliminating the cause altogether.  By bringing in packed lunches, you eliminate this proportion of waste entirely.
Education – Putting up additional posters throughout the office, near the bins or in general meeting areas about what can be recycled helps to reduce unnecessary waste going to landfill.

Kim Coley, Senior Green Business Coordinator at iiE said, “We wanted to encourage people to look at their day-to-day actions. By making small steps towards waste reduction, businesses will become more aware of environmental issues and it will inspire long-term behaviour change.”

To quote Tom Coleman, Account Director of Amey Cespa (East) Ltd: “This demonstrates how a few small changes can make a real difference...”

For more information about iiE, please visit or find us on Twitter @iiEUK. Read the rest of the results here. The Zero Waste Challenge was sponsored by Viridor and Walters.