The economies of scale and ability to employ specialist staff mean that larger organisations are often better at implementing workplace recycling than their smaller counterparts.

But the Waste & Resource Action Plan (WRAP) has been working with the Government to find examples of good practice in SMEs that can be adopted by other businesses.

It has offered funding to a number of schemes, including Adur and Worthing Services which is collecting and recycling cardboard and paper from 50 small business on the south coast.

In the Oxfordshire town of Wallingford the Centre for Environmental Studies in the Hospitality Industry has teamed up with local authorities, community groups, Grundon to offer small businesses a chance to recycle their commingled paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food and drink cans.

The trial will also assess whether there is sufficient interest from Wallingford’s pubs, restaurants and hotels to set up commercial bring sites for glass recycling.

In Liverpool and Merseyside Energywise Recycling provides recycling services for both households and businesses.

Here the WRAP trial is taking place in two locations – on a group of business parks in Knowsley and in the Ropewalks area or Liverpool’s city centre.

The service in Knowsley is collecting paper and cardboard from SMEs on a regular basis but it also provides drop off facilities on the business park.

In the Ropewalks it is collecting paper, cardboard and glass from offices, pubs, bars, restaurants and also providing a local drop off facility.

Two hundred businesses will be recruited to participate in the Merseyside trial.

Specialist office recycling business Paper Round is working with more than 3,000 customers in central London.

The trial is targeting SMEs in the south east of the capital in Lewisham, Bromley, Woolwich and Croydon and providing a collection and recycling service for paper, cardboard, glass, cans, tins, plastic bottles, printer cartridges and IT equipment.

The businesses can sign up to a membership service that allows them a certain number of collections each year or a pay-as-you-go service which is ideal for businesses needing less frequent collections.

Three hundred businesses will be signing up to participate in the trial.

Kerbside (Calderdale) is a social enterprise which already provides recycling services for households across the West Yorkshire district.

Its trial is providing a multi-material collection service for SMEs including paper, cardboard, glass, cans and tins, printer cartridges and batteries.

Businesses will be provided with collection boxes or bags and can have a weekly collection or less frequent if required.

One hundred and fifty businesses will be participating in the scheme, both in Halifax and more rural areas of Calderdale.

Liz Morrish, SME recycling programme manager at WRAP, said she hoped to see the private sector build on the success of the schemes:

“This range of trials show that there isn’t one ideal recycling service for all SMEs,” she said.

“The services developed and provided need to be appropriate for the type of businesses, the type of waste to be collected for recycling and the location of the businesses.

“The results from these trials will be used to draw up good practice guidance in providing recycling services for SMEs, with the aim to develop convenient and cost effective services to make it easier for businesses to recycle.”

Sam Bond

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