Don't waste your waste

10 Jan 2022

Published in: Member News

How businesses can potentially use waste as a revenue stream rather than a cost

New year is typically associated with change and improvement.

If you are looking to improve the waste management systems for your business, be it reducing costs or being a bit greener, read on

?waste /we?st/


1. (of a material, substance, or by-product) eliminated or discarded as no longer useful or required after the completion of a process.


1. unwanted or unusable material, substances, or by-products.

For most businesses disposing of waste incurs a cost but, in the right hands, it can actually be turned into a revenue stream - as well as improving your green credentials.

How? Here’s a recent example

A manufacturing company reviewing their suppliers contacted us to provide a quote to service a mixed metal skip and a mixed waste skip to support their manufacturing operation. We sent Sean along to have a chat with them about their business and requirements.

The mixed metal skip contained steel, stainless steel and aluminium but as it contained mixed grades of metal they were only being paid for the lowest grade which was steel. The mixed waste skip contained paper, cardboard, pallet wood and some plastic packaging which was being charged as general mixed waste and being sent to landfill.

Having assessed the situation Sean suggested some different options: they could continue to use a mixed metal skip that we would sort collect and sort at our premises so that they could be paid for the individual metal grades rather than just the lowest.

The second option was to put in a skip for each metal grade so that the metal could be sorted at source and better rates be paid for the individual metal grades rather than just the lowest, without incurring labour charges for sorting. Space restrictions made this option difficult so Sean suggested switching from skips to bins which could be positioned around the factory adjacent to the workstations generating the metal. We offered to hold a toolbox talk for the factory team identifying the different metals and which bins they should be placed in.

Sean suggested putting in a skip just for wood as this made up the bulk of their non-metal waste which would then be sent for recycling rather than to landfill. By using the same system of switching from skips to bins, again they could be positioned strategically around the factory, so the waste was being sorted at source. As the waste would no longer be mixed much of this could instead be sent for incineration to produce power rather than going to landfill.

So how did this company benefit?

  • the increased revenue from being paid for the different grades of metal offsets cost of waste disposal
  • dealing with one supplier who handles all of their waste and recycling simplifies internal processes and accounting
  • sorting waste means that it can be treated in a more environmentally friendly way reducing the amount of waste to landfill and improving green credentials

L&J Lonsdale Ltd, a fourth generation family business, have been recycling metal and other waste materials since 1926. Our team are highly experienced and we are well placed to advise businesses in all aspects of metal recycling and waste management.

For more information take a look at our website

For a free, no obligation chat to discuss your business requirements please contact Sean Melvin on 01922 621890 or

Submitted by Jacki from L & J Lonsdale - Metal Merchants and Commercial Storage & Logistics
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