Spark Response Sends Zero Percent of Waste to Landfill
Over the past 12 months Spark Response has successfully achieved its target of sending 0% of its waste to landfill. Instead, 100% of our waste is recycled, either traditionally or to create energy to power other activities.
It is not particularly surprising to say that in this age of ‘green’ awareness, companies are always on the look-out for more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to manage their waste. The detrimental effects of landfill disposal are very well documented. Compacting and covering waste removes the oxygen and causes it to break down in an anaerobic process, which eventually releases methane, a greenhouse gas.
Protection Agency has shown that methane is up to 20 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, which can potentially exacerbate global warming. It’s expensive too. Landfill costs UK businesses over £80 a tonne in tax on top of the fees paid to contractors. These two major factors have incentivised companies to make rapid and significant changes. In fact, between 2012 and 2014, the total amount of commercial and industrial waste produced in the UK was reduced by more than 5 million tonnes, that’s a reduction of 15 percent in just two years. Similarly, there have been government-backed interventions that were not mandatory, but that have also resulted in positive results. It’s no different here at Spark. We continually look for new environmentally friendly approaches to process our waste management, setting ambitious goals and targets.
Our number one goal, set in 2016, was to operate zero waste to landfill.
What is zero waste to landfill? The definition of zero waste to landfill is at least 99 percent of all generated waste diverted away from landfill, this means all waste produced is either reused, recycled, composted, or sent to energy recovery. It may have been an ambitious target, but we believed it was absolutely achievable, and something that a 21st century business should be actively promoting. Setting the goal of becoming zero waste to landfill gave us the perfect jumping off point to improve our waste management and ultimately shift the company towards a more circular use of resources. We added O’Brien -the largest waste recycler in the north east region, and a champion in environmentally friendly multi-stream waste solutions for businesses – as a strategic partner in October 2016, and together began the process of examining our waste management.
Fast forward fourteen months, we’re very happy to report that we have achieved our target of zero waste to landfill and proud to write that we have become one of the first companies in our industry to operate a fully accredited environmental management system. This is a hugely positive result, and it’s a credit to the commitment by the whole business to ‘become greener’. A zero waste approach protects the environment, the health of our communities by reducing pollution in the air, water and soil, and waste out of landfills and incinerators, and it’s fantastic to know that we’re positively contributing to improving our environment with a responsible forward thinking approach to waste management…and doesn’t that feel good.
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