Waste management: How industries differ

Waste management: How industries differ

On a global scale, we need to work on our waste management. We waste food, water, energy and other resources leading to an attitude of indifference. As a result, as a nation we have collectively evidenced that relying on the “out of sight, out of mind” model is ruining our planet. We are guilty of unconsciously spending, treating ourselves to a new outfit or the tastiest food on offer, without thinking about the consequences of where it comes from or where it could end up. The waste is now catching up with us: it is trashing our beaches, increasing pollution levels and ultimately, speeding up climate change.

This is why we can help! ESS know that managing waste can be time-consuming and may seem irrelevant, but it is another way in which your industry can save money.


It is one thing understanding how your actions may impact the environment, but changing your behaviour is another. Here are how our four main industries can manage their waste better:

Commercial and SMEs

Commercial and SMEs, much like other sectors, generate general waste. Depending on the business, they could have construction waste, agricultural waste and clinical waste, but more often than not will have a lot of food and energy waste. Based on the latest government data, 64.4% of the total commercial and industrial waste generated in England originates from SMEs. A reason for this is could be down to individual businesses who have to pay for a public or private contractor to collect their waste and recycling. These costs evidently add up, however using resources efficiently and reducing your business waste makes perfect financial and environmental sense.

This is why we suggest that your company tries to keep waste to a minimum – prevent, reuse and recycle when possible. For example, going paperless for statements, payslips etc alone can massively impact costs.


The education sector has a range of methods which can reduce waste. Schools, colleges and universities can divert waste from landfill just by spreading awareness.

In terms of the longer game, teaching the students how reducing, reusing, and recycling waste can make a difference to their school, community, and the environment is key in today’s society. For example, it is said that most adults have lower levels of concern about climate change than young people. So, if the younger generation practice recycling/cutting down on waste throughout their education, they can influence how their parents view the situation.

As for its more immediate impact, the sector can easily reduce its food waste in its canteens and cafes. They can also reduce the amount of dry-mixed recycling from packaging, the energy from electricity and also clinical waste, just by following simple steps.

If you need ESS to help provide waste management solutions to suit your facility, please drop us a message.

Inevitably, an institution is not going to have the best carbon footprint. However, if the faculty teaches its pupils to not waste paper and instead, print on double sided recycled paper, we are more likely to continue to do so out of habit. This example proves how easy yet cost effective such changes can be.

For more examples, read our Sustainable Universities post.

Healthcare and Care homes

The healthcare and care home sector have similarities to other industries. Although, this particular industry may have more clinical waste than others. For example, elderly people are more likely to need medicines so homes will have to dispose of clinical waste effectively, along with hazardous waste.

Many of these are not necessarily solely focused on healthcare waste and are applicable to other waste streams, for example children in schools may have soft waste such as dressings too. This is why it is important to know the colour coding of the healthcare waste bins. If you need help with organising and reducing your waste, contact us.

The Department of Health has published revised guidance on the safe management of healthcare waste. This details the legislative and practical requirements of managing the waste.

Particular attention should be given to:

  • Managing the waste and ensuring compliance
  • Types / classification of waste and how it should be safely stored
  • Transportation of waste

The management of healthcare waste is an essential part of ensuring that health and social care activities do not pose a risk.

Our tip: to sort and store waste safely and securely.

Leisure centres

As you can imagine, leisure centres produce a lot of waste. Luckily, alike other sectors, there are plenty of opportunities where waste can be prevented.

Reports prove that centres produce 114,100 tonnes of waste each year in the UK. Of this, 60,000 tonnes of food waste. This is one out of many areas where ESS can help. We can point you in the right direction regarding bin types, collection days and also conduct free audits for your waste removal. Together, these factors can help to cut down costs for your leisure centre, along with helping to impact the environment in a positive way.

Using initiative within sustainability plays an important role, especially within an industry that is constantly growing. This means that energy prices are constantly rising, but here are some of our eco-friendly methods which your facility can adopt:

Pools heated by waste water: Scottish Leisure Centre is forefront of renewable energy revolution

Going plastic free: Isle of Wight plastic free gym 

Humans generating power for the facilities: Eco-friendly gym in London 

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