Resource Efficiency

Resource Efficiency

Many organisations underestimate how much waste costs them; it could be as high as 4% of turnover. The true cost of waste isn’t limited to the charges for disposal. It also includes wasted raw materials, energy and labour, which can be between 5 and 20 times more than the cost of disposal. It could cost more to throw a resource away than to purchase it in the first place.

To download our handy DIY efficiency checklist click on the link below.

J&B Resource Efficiency and Waste Audit Guide


Interaction with National Curriculum

Recycling is a common area of study in the classroom and falls under Education for Sustainable Development. It can include elements of science, such as materials and their properties, magnets, reversible and irreversible change, forces and so on. Looking at how materials are sorted and recycled can broaden the pupils' perspective of materials, how they are recycled and how they are used around the world.

Children rarely have an opportunity to visit waste management facilities but with the help of J&B Recycling the pupil or student can see how the principles of materials and physical science are applied in practice particularly at our Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). Our MRF uses a range of scientific principles on a large scale in order to automate the sorting and segregation of materials. These include relative mass, balanced and un-balanced forces, the effect of gravity and the refraction of light, magnetism etc.

To read more about Recycling and the National Curriculum click here.


Help and Support

Frequently Asked Questions

We have answered some common questions, if you have a related question not covered here you can send it to enquiries@jbrecycling.co.uk and we will do our best to reply quickly with the answer.

Why do we need to recycle our waste?

Recycling converts used materials into new products, reducing the need to consume the Earth’s natural resources. If used materials are not recycled, new products are made by extracting fresh, virgin material through mining and forestry. Therefore recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution.

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials – even when comparing all associated costs including transport etc.

As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling is estimated to save  as much CO² a year as taking 5 million cars off the road.

When we recycle the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites is reduced. There are over 1,500 landfill sites in the UK, and in 2001, these sites produced a quarter of the UK’s emissions of methane greenhouse gas.

If you have waste you have a legal 'Duty of Care' (DOC) which applies to everyone involved in handling the waste. If you give your waste to someone else (like a waste contractor) it is your duty to make sure that you:

  • Check the person can take it - ask them to produce evidence, a valid Waste Carrier’s licence, to demonstrate that that they are legally authorised to carry waste.
  • Ensure the waste goes to a proper authorised disposal site - licensed or exempt.
  • Give the person a transfer note - this must include a description of the waste and be signed by both of you. Keep copies of your transfer notes for a minimum of two years. In most cases the waste contractor will provide this service on your   behalf either within their, or for an additional, charge(s)
  • Ensure that declaration is signed on the transfer note to indicate that the waste management hierarchy of options has been applied.

What is the "Waste Hierarchy"?

The Waste Hierarchy is the commonly accepted preferential order in which we should treat our waste materials – Prevention, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery, and Disposal. Its aim is to reduce the amount of waste and to recover the maximum value from wastes produced.

To see the Waste Hierarchy click here

Standard Industrial Codes, also known as SIC codes provide an easy way of describing what a business does. They are used by bodies like the Environment Agency to provide an overview of a business’s activities by categorising and defining business activities.

SIC codes are split into trade groups with more detailed classifications given within each trade group. Most business owners however don’t know their SIC code. In order to find it, you can use the Companies House list. This list is divided into trade groups, and is searchable by both code and by trade description. It might take some searching to find the most relevant code for your business, particularly if you work in a relatively obscure field. More information can also be found at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/regulation/129242.aspx#What_is_a_SIC_code or alternatively J&B can provide assistance for their customers in choosing the correct SIC code.

Some people don't recycle any of their waste - does that mean I might as well not bother?

No, it doesn’t because waste reduction is being covered by more environmental laws, fines and penalties will be stepped up and imposed on people that do not comply.

More people are becoming aware of recycling and more facilities are being made available including council kerbside collections, household waste recycling centres and recycling banks or bring sites such as those in supermarkets. As processing technologies advance the types of materials that can be recycled, such as mixed plastics, drinks cartons and electrical goods continues to increase.

Recycling saves companies and local councils money. The effects of non-compliance will be felt by employees by increasing costs and risk to employment whilst the general public will be affected either through reduced council services, increased council taxes or fines on individuals.

Why do different councils collect different types of recyclable waste in different containers?

Over the last few years local councils have collecting recyclable materials from people’s houses due to a financial penalty on the council for exceeding limits on waste that is allowed to go to landfill; and Legislation which requires that all waste collection authorities (councils) must recycle at 33% of household waste  by 2015. As there is no stipulation of what types of waste this is, households in different areas might well be recycling different waste types. The types of recyclables that are being collected will largely be determined by local recycling facilities and re-processing outlets the councils are using and the tender process used for awarding contracts.

Most products I buy have lots of packaging around them, which I have to throw away. Can't companies be made to use less packaging?

Consumer goods manufacturing companies, retailers and the buying public all have a role to play in reducing the amount of unnecessary packaging used. Companies use packaging on a product for a number of reasons, including:

  • to stop damage during transport
  • to keep products clean and hygienic
  • to maximise a products shelf life (sell by date)
  • to give technical information and instructions for the product
  • to display the product in store
  • to advertise the product

Any product will be using packaging for a variety of purposes however, there should be a reasonable balance struck between the commercial needs of the packaging and the use of excessive packaging materials.

Many products are now sold as refills under the environmentally friendly banner; however this may not be as simple as seems. For example which is best Coffee supplied in a recyclable glass jar, or the same product in an eco-refill, that although lighter and therefore more carbon efficient for transport, is made out non-recyclable plastic packaging?

Whatever products we buy we can all see that when we bring home our weekly shopping there is still a great deal of packaging being used. We can impact on excessive packaging ourselves by re-using carrier bags and actively choosing products with less packaging such a loose fruit and vegetables. The most effective means for changing the habits of companies who rely on you to choose their product is to stop buying them!

Does my "recycled" waste end up in China buried in Landfill?

Definitely not as recycled materials are a saleable commodity and the high quality end products that J&B supply are all re-processed back into other products. For example paper is used to make new papers in the UK and Sweden and the majority of plastic bottles are being re-processed within the UK. Some recycled materials such as cardboard are indeed sold to China as “recyclables” are a global commodity driven by market forces. China however does have state of the art reprocessing capability and the paper mills we supply have ISO14001 accreditation and received environmental protection awards and accolades, gaining the recognition and endorsement from the government and the community. The imbalance of trade between China and the UK also means that the majority of container ships would head back to China empty and produce CO2 emissions whether or not they are carrying cargo such as cardboard for recycling. In fact it is estimated China's use of waste-paper (over 20 million tonnes) instead of trees to make paper products saves on average 54 million metric tons of forest being harvested for making paper fibre products from wood.

What happens if I don't use the recycling bins at my house or work and instead throw it all in the general waste bin?

The first thing you will notice is you are likely to run out of space in your general waste bin. Most council have reduced the frequency of general waste collections in order to alternate them with the collection of recyclable waste. Businesses will also be charged if they produce extra waste and need more collections form their general waste bins

Once you get used to putting newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles, etc. in the recycling bin there will be a lot more space for the non-recycled waste in your general waste bin.

Recycling saves companies and local councils money. The effects of non-compliance will be felt by employees by increasing costs and risk to employment whilst the general public will be affected either through reduced council services, increased council taxes or fines on individuals.

How do all the mixed recyclable materials get separated?

Sometimes recyclables are collected as separate materials e.g. cardboard only from business or kerbside sorted from households. These are checked for contamination, baled by J&B and transported to a re-processing plant such as a paper mill. When two or more recyclable materials are collected in the same container however these are sorted at one of our Material Recycling Facilities (MRF), where the mixed materials go through the process of mechanical and manual sorting. The technology used for each material varies according to its properties, for example vacuums are used to capture light items (paper), magnets are used to capture and separate steel cans and optical plastic sorters using infra-red technology separate plastics. Eventually all items are separated, collected and taken to re-processing plants.


If you would like to make an enquiry or if you require further information please contact us.


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