Managing Business Waste Sustainably and Safely

Whatever size your business is, you’ll be producing some form of waste. Whether that’s simply the waste from the office kitchen bin or mountains of confidential paperwork, it’s important to manage your waste sustainably and avoid landfill where possible.

Here’s how you can manage your business waste sustainably and safely.

General waste

Businesses will inevitably produce some form of non-recyclable general waste. A good option for disposing of general waste is Energy from Waste. While Energy from Waste isn’t without some degree of environmental damage, it is generally a much “cleaner” option than sending general waste to landfill. This is because landfill produces both carbon dioxide and methane gases. Energy from Waste on the other hand only produces carbon dioxide. While both gases contribute to global warming, methane is around 25 times more damaging than CO2.

Dry mixed recycling

In the UK, it’s thought that 20% of paper, 29% of metals, 33% of glass and 56.2% of plastic recyclable materials were not recycled in 2021. Installing clearly labelled recycling bins at your premises could encourage recycling and help to save valuable natural resources. Just make sure your confidential materials don’t accidentally end up in the recycling bins!

Confidential materials and business paperwork

Even with paperless and clean desk policies in place, most businesses will produce some form of physical waste that contains confidential information. As you probably know, any confidential information or personal information that a business possesses should be destroyed once no longer needed. This could be anything from HR files and old invoices, to archive boxes. It could even be things like post-it notes with customer names and numbers written on. For all paperwork, we’d encourage a Shred Everything policy to avoid employees making the wrong call when it comes to which paperwork could be confidential.

When you’re finished with these confidential materials and business paperwork, the safest and most sustainable option is shredding. Shredding in-house comes with many risks, and your recycling provider may not accept shredded paper fragments. However, a specialist shredding service provider will be able to protect your business from the threat of a data breach and will recycle your paperwork. Here at Shred Station, we have a strict zero to landfill policy and recycle 100% of the paper we shred.


If your business receives or ships goods by mail, you’re likely to have some cardboard waste that you need to dispose of. Cardboard is very easy to recycle. Here at Shred Station, all of the cardboard we recycle is used to make new corrugated card. When you recycle your business cardboard, just make sure you’ve removed all stickers, delivery slips or labelling that includes the name and address of anyone at your workplace. This could contain identifiable information. You should therefore treat these materials as confidential and ensure secure destruction.

Old uniforms and ID cards

If your organisation uses uniforms with your brand name on them, how are you managing the disposal of these uniforms? Are you letting your staff keep their old uniforms when they leave? Doing so could be a costly mistake. There have numerous cases of fraudsters using company uniforms to gain unauthorised access to workplaces or even access to the homes of unsuspecting members of the public. When you no longer need old uniforms or anything that could be used to impersonate any employee of your organisation, it should be shredded and recycled.

Old storage devices

When you’re finished with your old electronic devices, you need to consider whether the devices contain any confidential information. For example, your old office computer hard drives could contain confidential data even once that hard drive is wiped. Or, maybe you have old SIM cards for work mobiles that contain details of your customers and suppliers.  Degaussing is a great idea for all magnetic devices. Shredding is another great way of keeping your old storage devices secure from theft of any lingering files.

Old or damaged products

If your organisation has to purge old or damaged stock, and it’s not possible to reuse these items or sell them at a discount, shredding and recycling is a good option, particularly if any products you sell are high-end. The destruction of these items could protect your business from both counterfeiting and the risk of customers purchasing faulty or unsafe goods. Damaged goods, for example, electronics, could potentially be dangerous if faulty. It is your responsibility as a company to make sure you aren’t putting members of the public in danger.

If you need assistance with any of your confidential waste management requirements, we can help. Shred Station specialises in the secure disposal and recycling of confidential materials, old products and much more. Get in touch to see how we can help you.

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