Sustainable waste streams: key to saving costs as prices soar for UK business

Last updated: 7th April 2022

Businesses are being urged to develop more sustainable waste streams in order to make savings and stay profitable as energy and resource costs in the UK soar.

According to phs Wastekit, which supplies cardboard baling machines and waste compactors, smarter waste management measures could unlock significant hidden savings for businesses.

Jason Smith is phs Wastekit’s Managing Director. He said: “Too many businesses accept their high waste costs as a ‘necessary evil’ and overlook the huge savings, and even revenue, they could make from their everyday waste. Managing waste costs is just as valuable as managing and minimising any other cost in the business, especially in the current climate we all face.

“For example, cardboard prices are at their highest in a decade and there is real money to be made from selling dry waste cardboard that has been baled to recycling companies. But so many businesses are still paying someone else to take it away for them instead!”

According to figures from, cardboard prices were at their highest since their records began towards the end of 2021, with dry bales of cardboard commanding up to £143 per tonne at UK domestic mills. That was a 50-60% increase from January 2021, where bales reached between £73-£92 per tonne. Prices fluctuate, but in February 2022 bales were still commanding up to £141 per tonne in the UK, and they have continued to increase throughout March.

Cardboard box manufacturers have been struggling with supply issues since 2019, when the global pandemic started. A decline in the use of paper during lockdown is thought to have caused the shortage, and subsequent price increase, of the raw recycled materials needed for cardboard production. This, coupled with the sudden increase in the demand for cardboard packaging for online shopping during the COVID crisis, is thought to have attributed to the price changes.

“Cardboard, like boxes or packaging, that has been ‘baled’ by a baler machine can be sold on to recycling companies for reuse or resale, bringing in new revenue for the business. It also reduces the business’ impact on the environment, its waste collection costs and its landfill contributions at the same time.”

It is not just waste cardboard where businesses can make significant waste savings. General waste compactors are also proven to save money and improve a business’ environmental performance.

“Compactors reduce the size of the general waste produced by compacting it,” continued Jason Smith. “This simple measure means that a business does not need to have its waste collected as frequently as the volume is significantly reduced. This keeps more vehicles off the road, reducing its carbon footprint and saving money at the same time.

“Baling and compacting machines are such a valuable asset for sustainable waste management. In fact, phs Wastekit machines are sustainable from cradle to grave. Our machines are manufactured in the UK or Europe from recycled steel. They then enjoy a long working life of 15-20 years assisting businesses with sustainable waste management. To reduce the impact of new manufacturing, we carry out regular refurbishments of our machines to ensure a long life and the best energy efficiencies possible. At the end of their life, our machines are scrapped for metal to be used to create new machines, so the cycle can begin again.

“Being smart means being sustainable in the current climate, and businesses need to start accessing their ancillary costs in the same way as they do their core costs. A simple cost benefit analysis will quickly show up unnecessary costs and ways to generate revenue or reduce costs. There are almost always savings to be made in our experience, whether it’s reducing the labour costs associated with waste management or cutting down waste collections and transport costs.”

As well as supplying high quality baler and compactor machines for rent or purchase, phs Wastekit offers servicing, maintenance and waste removal services across the UK, as well as partnerships with recycling companies to support customers. phs Wastekit offers a free Waste Saving Audit and a free trial of a baler or compactor to businesses to see how much they could save without any obligation.

Contact or call 0800 169 3534 to find out more. 

N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by the above supplier, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher

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