Despite the best of intentions, SMEs are becoming a major contributor to the 6.5 million tonnes of business waste winding up in landfill each year.
In the lead up to Waste Not, Want Not Day on 13 December, e-waste recycling provider TechCollect said that SMEs are often responsible for throwing away more old electronic equipment than larger businesses.
This is because budgetary constraints see them more likely to buy goods outright, whereas larger businesses have the resources to hire them.
However, TechCollect’s CEO Carmel Dollisson said that close to 80 per cent of small businesses believe reducing waste and recycling more is at the core of building an ethical and sustainable business.
“With Waste Not, Want Not Day approaching, we encourage all businesses and employees to mark 13 December in the calendar, get their old electronic devices out of the cupboard or company storerooms, and ensure they’re responsibly recycled,” she said.
“Businesses who put sustainability at the top of their agenda report higher recruitment and staff retention rates, and an overall increase in employee engagement and productivity. As awareness of good recycling practice continues to grow among Australians, employees also expect their company to have an active environmental policy in place.”
According to Ms Dollisson, reducing waste in business has gained traction with an upsurge in the amount of paper and cardboard that is recycled, but that “there is much more work to be done” when it comes to recycling electronic waste.
“We need to create an environment in which responsibilities are more evenly shared, encouraging businesses to become active players in the management and recycling of the electronic waste they’re responsible for, which will also encourage their employees to do the same at home,” she said.