Slop buckets should be installed in offices
Already households are being forced to install “slop buckets” in kitchens so that unwanted food can be collected separately. Office workers should have access to a slop bucket near their desks to dispose of apple cores, tea bags and under food waste, according to Government plans to improve recycling by business.
In a report drawn up to boost recycling rates by business, companies are also encouraged to also start collecting food waste separately.
Experts said this could mean introducing slop buckets into offices and some companies are already removing traditional bins from beside desks so that workers are forced to put paper, empty drinks cans or food waste in the correct recycling bin.
‘Less is More’: Business Opportunities in Waste and Resource Management’ sets out how companies can cut waste right through the supply chain. The most effective way to do this is to encourage big manufacturers to reduce the use of raw materials, for example by changing product design, and recycle more from the factory floor.
But businesses can also make a difference by improving the collection and recycling of waste produced in offices.
The report points out that the growing costs of landfill tax means it is becoming increasingly costly to dump rubbish in holes in the ground. Businesses will cut costs by ensuring waste is separated for recycling and could even make money by setting up their own collection systems or generating energy from waste.
Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, said business cannot continue to dump so much in landfill.
“What’s good for the environment can be good for business,” he said “We need to be smarter about re-using and recycling waste, getting the full value from our resources rather than simply dumping it in landfill.”
Although the 24-page report stops short of telling businesses how to collect the waste generated, it makes it clear that “over the coming years the separate collection of recyclable material from households and businesses will become even more important than it is today”.
Dr Michael Warhurst, a waste expert at Friends of the Earth, said this will mean having more recycling bins in the office.
He said many offices have already removed waste paper baskets from beside desks to force workers to use the right recycling bin.
“You need to make sure that where you have any sort of catering there are food waste collection points and multiple recycling bins in the office and where people make their tea and coffee,” he said.
“You do not have bins beside people’s desks as it encourages people to put things in the wrong bin.”
Dr Warhurst said recycling in the office will be natural for most workers who already recycle at home.
“It may even become simpler because people do the same things at home rather than different things,” he added.