5 Surprising recycling facts businesses can tackle this Recycle Week

Businessman placing bottle into recycle bin
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Recycle Week is a national event hosted by Wrap which has taken place annually since 2004. The event seeks to raise awareness and promote the recycling of materials to help create a more sustainable future by getting individuals and businesses all over the world involved.

This year the theme is ‘Step it Up’ to reduce the effects of climate change caused by waste and carbon pollution. To encourage your business to step up its efforts this year, we’ve curated 7 statistics you can help tackle this Recycle Week.

1. Over 20,000 tonnes of batteries are sent to landfill in the UK each year.

Recycling information hub Recycle More has found that we landfill almost 2 Eiffel towers worth of batteries in the UK alone every single year. 

Batteries can be extremely difficult to recycle. Due to their hazardous chemicals, they can leak harmful pollutants into soil and water when not disposed of properly. Not only this, but they can even cause dangerous fires when carelessly thrown into landfills.

Luckily, batteries can be recycled by a certified waste carrier. Businesses can collect, separate, and recycle their batteries for collection, preventing useful elements from going to waste, and helping to protect our planet at the same time. 

2. Electrical goods are the fastest growing waste stream.

It’s no secret that the technology industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world. With more electronic products produced each year, old devices are becoming redundant more quickly. This is causing a growth waste rate of 5% per year, a lot of which is thrown into landfills rather than recycled.

Businesses across the UK use a wide range of electronics every day. We throw away our old assets in favour of newer models with new features from IT equipment to specialist machinery. This has caused a huge influx in wasted materials such as copper and gold which are used in the creation of our devices. 

3. 6 million electronic items are thrown away each year, but over half could be repaired and reused.

old and broken smartphones in plastic box

As electronic waste increases, so does the amount which misses out on being repaired. Repairing and reusing our assets may not be our first option when disposing of a smartphone or laptop. However, doing so can stop those assets from going to waste, and even save some cash in the process. 

Many IT Asset Disposal companies like ourselves offer Data Erasure, allowing for a device to be completely wiped of its internal data. This makes the device safe for reuse either within a business or donated to a user who needs it.

For more information on donating your old business devices visit Recycle your electronics.

4. Recycling steel saves 75% of the energy needed if it was made from virgin materials.

Like many materials on our planet, steel is a valuable resource that is running out. Because it is used in so many items, a lot of steel is needed to keep up with production demands. Along with this, a lot of energy is needed to extract the resource from the ground, but only a fraction of the energy would be needed to recycle it.

Once again, choosing to recycle your business assets can help save the planet. By recycling our items that contain steel, we can reduce the demand for virgin ores and lower the depletion of our natural resources. Not only does this prevent wasted energy in mining, but it also prevents the destruction of our planet in our search for virgin ore. This helps protect the environment, and the habitats our wildlife rely on to survive.

5. 10% of households who recycle electronic items do not have them accepted locally.

One of the main reasons why electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream is due to accessibility. Because this waste can be hazardous, items must be disposed of by a professional recycling company.

As mentioned, improperly disposed of electronics can cause fires and pollutants to leak into our planet. Luckily, businesses can help by choosing to allow employees to bring their waste to work. This makes it easier for recycling companies to take away bulk electronic waste for recycling and provides a place for households to dispose of their devices.

Bin tipped over with electronics inside

It’s important now more than ever for businesses to step up their efforts this Recycle Week. Recycling helps reduce pollution to our planet and save valuable resources. It is no longer enough to just recycle items such as paper and cardboard when more can be done to minimise our environmental impact. So how will your business get involved?

Learn about why your business should recycle its IT, and how to do it here.

Facts 1-4 sourced from Recycle More.

Fact 5 sourced from Recyclingbins.co.uk.

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