Waste & Recycling

We all waste too much, so trying to cut out waste is a never-ending task.

In addition, waste has a carbon footprint, with (unfortunately) recycled waste usually having a higher carbon footprint than landfill.  This is a serious conflict, implying that recycling is bad for the environment - but that's garbage (ha-ha!).  For the record, the carbon cost of our waste in 2019 was 278kgCO2e (as context, the average person in the UK has a carbon footprint of 330kgCO2e from their household food waste).

Steenbergs recycles as much as possible, then ensures that the remaining waste does not go to landfill and is processed through energy recapture.  We could always do more and we continuously strive to reduce packaging and use suppliers who meet our own hopes and aspirations.

Although a separate topic, we see packaging and waste holistically, and Steenbergs' waste should be considered alongside the packaging that we use for our products.

Steenbergs' Targets

 Targets (2016 - 2019)
2025

 Actual
2019

 Waste to landfill
  0%  
  0%
 Proportion of waste that is recycled
  75% 
  62%
 Reduction in waste produced
 -25% 
  9%

What's Steenbergs Doing About Its Waste?

Treatment of waste sits centrally within Steenbergs' Environmental Management System, which is audited every year to the BS855 standard.  The EMS covers, inter alia, how to dispose of non-hazardous and hazardous waste, what to do in pollution incidents, certification and traceability of waste through authorised waste contractors and the monitoring of waste.

But at the core of our personal business philosophy, we try to minimise the waste we generate, then seek to deal with it in the most sustainable way we can, following the classic mantra of: Reduce - Reuse - Recycle - Recapture.  In a nutshell, this is all about sorting our waste and routing it to the best possible waste chain in terms of environmental sustainability, and, to be honest, we are waste sorting geeks (or at least Axel is to an almost obsessive level!).

This is summarised below:

  • Reduce: We have been successfully reducing the amount of materials within our processes over recent years, so it is getting increasingly harder to cut more out.  For example, we have reduced corrugated packaging, by getting our tins delivered in their case packaging (so saving all the transit packaging from manufacturer to Steenbergs), and our cases for our spice jars were reconfigured in 2018 to remove 28.6% of material (down from 175g to 125g per box).  Then, we have cut out paper statements and invoices so far as possible - there remain a few customers and suppliers who still insist on physical paperwork.
  • Reuse: Where possible, we reuse packaging - this is not easy in food products.  Nevertheless, the cases for spices and tea tins are reused, pallets are reused until unfit for use with the cardboard layers from our jars used to cover the pallet, and clean cardboard from transit packaging is used as filler in boxes.  Small amounts of surplus packaging stock is sold via Ebay.  The big challenge is how to reuse and refill the spice jars, with the main problem getting them back to us - we do not have a huge chain of stores where we could facilitate that, so currently transport costs ruin the economics.
  • Recycle: At Steenbergs, we recycle everything that can be recycled - paper, card, glass, plastics, metals, hairnets and plastic film.  Over 85% of our recycling is corrugated board, paper and card, with the balance plastic, glass and metal.  But we get quite detailed in what we do sort out for recycling, so batteries are recycled, hairnets, disposable overalls, confidential paperwork and computers.  All recycling is handled in Yorkshire or Lancashire, depending on the waste stream; we have a strict ban on exporting our primary junk.
  • Recapture: All the remaining waste goes to approved UK-based waste-to-energy plants, mostly to Allerton Park, which is 8 miles away.  Specific types of waste go to other energy recapture facilities, also located in Yorkshire.  So nothing goes to landfill - we have a no landfill policy.

 Details of How Steenbergs Processes Its Waste

MaterialMethod
Processor
Location
Cardboard
Recycled
Yorwaste
Rufforth and Thirsk (North Yorkshire)
General paper
Recycled
Yorwaste
Rufforth and Thirsk (North Yorkshire
Confidential paper
Recycled
Shredit
Leeds (West Yorkshire)
Plastic (clean)
Recycled
Yorwaste
Rufforth and Thirsk (North Yorkshire
GlassRecycledHarrogate Council
Harrogate (North Yorkshire)
Metals (alunimium, steel)
RecycledYorwaste
Rufforth and Thirsk (North Yorkshire
Hair nets, beard snoods, dispoable overalls
Recycled
Terracycle
Preston (Lancashire)
General plastic film packaging (Steenbergs film or black pouches, or general internal waste like crisp packets)
Recycled
Terracycle
Preston (Lancashire)
Computers and phones
Recycled
Revive IT
Leeds (West Yorkshire)
Feminine waste
Incinerated
Cathedral Hygiene
Leeds (West Yorkshire)
Food waste
Waste to energy
Yorwaste
Allerton (North Yorkshire)
Trade waste
Waste to energy
YorwasteAllerton (North Yorkshire)

If you need further details of specific items, please contact us.

If you have any great ideas on reducing or recycling the waste we generate in our business, please tell us as I am always asking visitors for the best practice that they have seen elsewhere!

 


WARNING: Steenbergs Ltd has become aware that an identity fraudster is falsely using the Steenbergs name and head office address to offer employment and business opportunities to unsuspecting people and businesses. The fraud originates in Nigeria and is in no manner connected to Steenbergs Ltd. There is no Garry Walker or pharmaceuticals or similar business at 6 Hallikeld Close. If you are in the UK, notify Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040.