Waste produced across UK industries

Waste produced across UK industries

While the importance of waste management in any sector is clear, sometimes eager entrepreneurs overlook the consideration of its importance when setting up their own businesses. We’ve teamed up with Reconomy, which is a leader in offering a range of skip sizes across the United Kingdom, to take a closer look at how different businesses operational in different industries dispose of their waste as well the cost implications taking into to account the whole UK.

The secret to success in any business is focussing on the main business activity which brings in the profits, while operational costs should be minimised. Effective waste management is one way to reduce what are otherwise unnecessary costs. You would proceed to work with a waste management company that would create a more reliable and bespoke collection routine which better meets your unique business needs, after having a profile of your business drawn up to calculate the amount of waste your company generates.

How much waste was produced by different industries in the UK (2014)?

15.1 million tonnes by the Commercial Sector

12.6 million tonnes by the Industrial Sector

120.4 million tonnes (over 60% of the UK’s total waste) by the Construction, Demolition & Excavation Sector

26.9 million tonnes by the Mining, Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing Sector (in 2016)

202.8 million tonnes of total waste was produced in 2014, accounting for a 4.6% increase from 2012.

Here’s a breakdown of the waste produced by sector, which includes food waste as well as how much this is costing them as an industry in the UK:

The Restaurant and Pub Sector

The UK food industry yields 915,400 tonnes of annual waste, including 199,100 tonnes of food waste alone, while the pub industry’s total waste comes to 873,000 tonnes annually. 173,000 of this is food waste.

Food waste management costs in these sectors adds up to £3,500 per tonne, per year.

The Hotel Sector

In the hotel sector annual expenditure on food waste comes up to £318 million, which amounts to 79,000 of the 289,000 tonnes of total waste produced.

The Healthcare Sector

121,000/170,300 tonnes of waste produced by the health sector is food waste and this costs £230 million to manage annually. However, 7% of all the waste in this sector is recycled.

Tackling Food Waste

Businesses can reduce the waste they produce through better management of their core business activities which contribute to food waste, like downsizing restaurant menus in line with customer consumption patterns, reducing portion sizes, stocking up on food only as would be required, and donating unconsumed food that would otherwise go to waste.

Government Action

As part of the British government’s mission to become a zero-waste economy, responsibilities have been assigned to businesses to keep their waste to a minimum, sort their waste and store it correctly, and fill out waste transfer notes when the waste leaves their premises.

Only certified waste carriers should be made use of. They are then to be reported to Crimestoppers in the event that they dispose of your waste illegally and in a way that can be harmful to the environment.

Naturally waste will still be generated, but the aim is to deploy all resources possible to ensure we get full value out of all the products we use.

Share this Story

Related Posts

Learn Business from the experts.

With one interview and a selection of finance articles every week, join 3,000 others on weekly newsletter here.

Looking for Something Special?

About Experts In Focus

Welcome to Experts In Focus, formed from a group of old r/business users from Reddit who wanted a place to gather the best interviews and create a resource for learning for the future - all in the same place.

We have a group of 5 contributors so we have a variety of styles and a variety of different types of content published. We focus on quality not quantity.

One last thing, we're here for you in the comments to answer any questions you have, and we're always ready to jump in on any feedback in our interviews and articles.

Welcome to