The biggest threats to recycling rates in the UK is contamination.
Due to confusion or lack of attention, very often the wrong materials end up in the wrong bin. A simple mistake that can render an entire sack or bin of recycling to be diverted to general waste where it will be incinerated - quite the unnecessary waste of resources.
Thinking about this, First Mile has introduced a new smart tech with QR codes to all our recycling sacks and bins in an effort to reduce contamination and ensure that recyclables actually get recycled.
How does the QR Codes work?
Every First Mile sack and external bin now comes with a unique QR code. Upon delivery, bins and sack rolls or boxes are scanned and automatically registered to each business location on our system.
During collection, if our driver notices that a bin or sack is contaminated, it will be scanned and a picture will be taken. This information is instantly uploaded to our system and the customer notified via email.
Recycling is everybody's responsibility
Each of us is responsible for the waste we produce, as well as its correct disposal. Contents of a contaminated bin or sack can no longer be recycled and instead must be treated as general waste, which increases the cost of waste disposal and results in a lower recycling rate.
With our new smart tech, customers will be quickly informed if contamination occurs - however, if there's no improvement, charges will be applied for ongoing contamination. This is to cover the cost of redirection and the safe incineration of contaminated waste and lost recycling.
The aim of our QR coded tech is to eliminate contamination and actively help businesses leave a greener footprint. Besides ensuring materials are actually recycled, it will also count towards a company’s overall recycling performance. With a more accurate reading of recycling rates, it will be easier to identify areas for improvement and celebrate sustainability achievements.
How can I avoid contamination?
We are committed to helping our customers increase recycling rates by reducing contamination in a number of ways:
- Understanding your waste: Waste Audits enable customers or non-customers to get accurate and detailed data on their waste by analysing materials, weight and contamination, to then develop a sustainability plan within the organisation;
- Right bin set up: Our team of Recycling Advisers are on hand to help companies set up the right recycling services, bins and posters to ensure the best performance;
- Clear communication: Make it clear to staff about what materials go in what bin by putting up recycling posters that you can download for free;
- Staff education: Book an interactive Recycling Workshop where we’ll train your staff about the importance of recycling, and what goes in what bin;
- Tracking & engagement: Download and share your company’s monthly recycling report containing key stats on recycling achievements;
- Recycling tips: There’s plenty of tips, info and articles to help your business recycle right on First Mile’s social channels and website.
At First Mile, we’re always looking at new ways of demystifying recycling and helping customers to improve their sustainability plans. If you need any help, our Customer Success Team are on hand 24/7.