New service to help businesses get their office waste sorted
A new service designed to help businesses segregate and dispose of their office waste without breaking the bank has launched in Edinburgh.
Brightwaste has been set up by cleaning entrepreneur Roger Green and is a spin-off from his successful commercial cleaning business – Spotless – based in Musselburgh.
According to Green, the new venture, which is also being rolled out in Glasgow, is set to boost recycling in city centre offices and help businesses improve their waste management processes without incurring high costs.
It follows recent changes in legislation which require businesses to present metal, plastic, glass, paper and card separately for collection or face fines from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), which range from a £300 Fixed Monetary Penalty to up to £10,000 for persistent failure to comply.
Green said: “To recycle responsibly you need systems. That’s what we provide. We advise businesses on how to improve their recycling by supplying the bins they need to segregate at source and make it easy for their staff to separate their waste.
“This reduces waste that otherwise goes to landfill. We also provide refuse sacks and collect office waste at agreed intervals. We offer a system that is tailored to each customer, and saves money by avoiding fines for not sorting and disposing of waste properly.
“Waste contractors increase their charges each year on 1st April but we are offering our customers no rate increases for 2017.”
Brightwaste operates a fleet of electrically operated vans which collect businesses’ separately-bagged recyclables directly from their office when they are ready for uplift without being restricted to a timed collection window.
To make sure all recycling bags are kept separate, Brightwaste says it collects them in a van as, unlike bin lorries, they won’t mix or mash the recycling together. The firm says this ensures compliance and the high-quality recycling, with no contamination from being mashed together, means improved processing and reduced costs overall.
Green added: “At Spotless we subcontracted our waste management service for a while but I soon realised that we could offer our customers a better service tailored to their individual needs.
“We already helped the businesses whose offices we cleaned separate materials for recycling by using different bins for different types of waste to reduce the amount of waste they sent to landfill but waste collection was an issue.
“There has to be a better way than jamming our city centres with multiple bin lorries that contaminate recycled waste so the idea of setting up our own waste collection service grew from there and led to the launch of Brightwaste.
“Landfill space is limited so we need to encourage everyone to recycle more responsibly both at home and in their work place. We have to get the most out of our resources, and that means recycling them back into productive use, not burying them in landfills as waste. A key element to our service is training.
“We know office workers are often time-pressed and won’t spend time dwelling on whether or not a crisp packet is recyclable (they’re not!). So we need to raise awareness to make these decisions instinctive.
“We provide our customers with communications materials that can be used to run employee awareness campaigns to help educate office staff on what goes where.”
Green founded his cleaning business in 1988 while studying at university in Edinburgh and now turns over £12 million a year and employs 1,200 staff. It provides a wide range of cleaning services, from office cleaning to industrial and commercil spaces, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds and London.