5 Steps To Managing Additional Christmas Retail Waste

Why Is It So Important To Plan Ahead For Christmas Waste?

The last two months of the year are a particularly busy time for retailers with new sale opportunities around every corner. However, taking advantage of these profitable ventures can be difficult – balancing staff, sales and marketing strategies all while providing a great customer experience.

Juggling all of these snowballs can cause other areas of a business to take a back seat – like retail waste management.

Forgetting to prepare for the disposal of your waste can lead to backlogs, overflowing bins, disruption to business and can cause a costly distraction from other Christmas preparations.

We recently conducted a Twitter poll asking retail businesses how much extra waste they thought they would produce this Christmas season.

The majority of retail businesses thought they would produce an excess of 30% more waste during Christmas. So how should retail businesses prepare themselves for managing this spike?

5 Simple Steps For Managing Extra Retail Waste This Christmas

  1. Assess your waste management needs

The first step in preparing for extra waste this Christmas season is to assess how much of it your business is likely to produce.

Tip: Inventory counts are an excellent opportunity for calculating your potential waste increases.

It might also be worth considering revising your current bin service. If you only have a general waste collection but will need to dispose more of a single material, such as cardboard or plastic, consider adding a single stream collection rather than increasing the size of your general waste bin which would not be economical or environmentally beneficial.

Things to consider when assessing your waste management needs:

  • Can you discuss with your suppliers ways to reduce packaging?
  • What materials will make up the majority of your waste?
  • Would you benefit from two smaller bins, such as a dry mixed recycling container and general waste collection rather than just one large general bin?

  1. Schedule more frequent bin collections

Once you’ve successfully assessed any waste increases and any additional or alternative services you may need, plan for any additional collections to assist with busier than usual days. Booking an extra rubbish removal for the day before new deliveries will ensure your bins are empty for unpacking new stock.

Biffa’s customers can easily schedule additional collections during Christmas through their online account management portal, CustomerZone.

Tip: Book your additional services in as soon as possible to avoid your optimum slot becoming unavailable.

  1. Train staff on how to recycle efficiently

Prepare a recycling plan and train staff to avoid contaminating recycling streams with general waste and to prevent your general waste bins from filling up unnecessarily.

Tip: By recycling materials effectively (not contaminating it with general waste) you can save costs by avoiding Landfill Tax.

How to train staff on recycling:

  1. Assign a group of employees to monitor the recycling scheme.
  2. Set up small recycling stations within the workplace to make it easier for employees to use and to catch any contamination before it makes it to the big bin.
  3. Print recycling signage so all staff are aware of what should and shouldn’t be included in each bin.
  4. Notify the relevant staff members to any additional bin collection dates coming up so they can open any access gates for Biffa drivers and avoid missed collections.
  5. Keep employees up to date on their efforts through CustomerZone reports.

  1. Last minute unplanned waste

Despite having the best plans in place, unexpected events may crop up. You may not be able to plan for those particular events, but it’s beneficial to you as a business, and for your customers to have someone in place who can handle the unexpected, so you don’t have to.

A smaller waste operator might not be able to provide unscheduled pickups of waste during the busy Christmas period due to limited resources. So it’s essential to have a backup waste company in place who can provide a reactive response should you discover that your bins have not been emptied or need to schedule in an additional service with short notice.

  1. Post-Christmas cleanup

Even when Christmas is over, it’s still worth planning for the immediate aftermath. Households are clearing the halls after the festive period, and with smaller domestic bins filling up quickly, many may look for alternative ways to dispose of their rubbish. Recycling centres in retail spaces can be a handy resource, but they quickly become full, causing litter to overflow and leaving Christmas leftovers exposed to wildlife.

Charity shops can also become overwhelmed with the volume of goods donated following the Christmas period, and while most items go on to be sold and benefit the charity, other items are ineligible for sale and need to be disposed of responsibly.

Not all post-Christmas clean-ups are on a large scale. Retails might have damaged stock, Christmas decorations and Christmas trees that are no longer usable and need to be disposed of legally by a registered waste operator.

Whatever the size of the clear up, ensuring you have a waste operator in place to handle every situation will help provide a stress-free and beneficial Christmas season for your retail business.

Merry Christmas!

About the author

Jessica Keynes

Jess works with Biffa’s digital team to create interesting and diverse content for the industrial and commercial industry. Her favourite subject is food waste, so keep an eye out for helpful tips!