Humans tend to have a huge problem with waste. Most of us don’t know what to do with it, and so we pile it up in landfills…. out of sight, out of mind. While that used to be an acceptable practice, times are changing, and we need to find a solution.
Whether we are paying attention or not, the fact is waste in landfills is breaking down, emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, seeping pollutants into soil and water, disturbing ecosystems…. Sadly, in the UK, a lot of waste is being buried beneath our feet each year and we need to explore and find alternatives to improve this.
Diverting waste away from landfills prevents pollution that can harm our health and the environment. Reducing, re-using and recycling waste can bring economic gains and secure access to critical raw materials.
- Conserving natural resources
- Protecting ecosystems and wildlife
- Reducing demand for raw materials
- Saving energy
- Cutting climate-changing carbon emissions
- Cheaper than waste collection and disposal
Mears FM has reduced the amount of waste it sends to landfill and have succeeded in ensuring nearly 98% of its collected waste was recycled in 2021. From a 91.08% back in 2018 this is a huge improvement.
Some of the benefits of landfill diversion are:
- More space for waste. We definitely don’t need any more waste clogging our landfills, so diverting things elsewhere allows for less unnecessary space taken up.
- It’s good for the economy. When you recycle something, you can save an average of 20 pence per pound because recycling materials is cheaper than producing them from raw materials at first. Recycled goods usually have a higher value than their alternatives, which brings even more economic prosperity.
- It’s better for the environment. If we’re taking waste that would otherwise clog our landfills and making them into new products, it’s much more sustainable for the planet.
How are we achieving this target?
FM SMT recognised the need to get their operation teams much closer to the waste challenge so they set up a series of meetings with all managers and Waste Partner to share some ideas and information. This brought waste to the forefront of their minds and they realised that some contracts had already conducted some activities with both, clients and branches around waste.
This was the base that enabled Branches to work more closely with ‘Reconomy’ (waste and resource management partner). They then conducted a deep dive on the destinations for all the waste across FM.
A more strategic approach to the supply chain partners being utilised was implemented ensuring they were partnered with forward thinking and more sustainable transfer stations where landfill is avoided where possible.
Sean Donoghue, Business Development Director FM Divisional, commented:
There is much still to do as we know the Group as a whole are working on their net Zero Carbon and Waste plan and FM want to be an integral part of this.
Kevin Woodcock, Managing Director FM Divisional, said:
I’m really proud that the FM team have kept their eye on the ball on this important issue despite all the challenges we’ve all experienced in the last few years. The target now is Net Zero Waste year on year and an even greater awareness and ownership across the business.