economic benefits of smart waste management

The Economic Benefits of Smart Waste Management for Businesses 

Nobody likes to talk about it, but everyone plays a part in it – waste. Waste management has become a critical issue in today’s world, as businesses and individuals generate increasing amounts of waste. According to the most recent waste statistics made available by, It is estimated that the UK generated 43.9 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste in 2018, of which 37.2 million tonnes (85%) was generated in England. 

All industries face new challenges with their waste management. Fortunately, with the growth of technology, there is now a way to manage waste in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. This solution is known as smart waste management systems. These systems use sensors and other technologies to optimise waste collection and disposal.  

What is smart waste management? 

Smart waste management refers to the use of advanced technology and data analysis to optimise the collection, disposal, and recycling of waste. It involves the integration of various technologies such as sensors, IoT devices, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics to efficiently manage the waste generated in a city or a region. 

By implementing smart waste management systems, cities can reduce the cost of waste management, minimise the environmental impact of waste, and improve public health and safety. These systems can help monitor waste levels in bins, optimise collection routes, and track the movement of waste from collection to disposal. 

Smart waste management can also involve the use of innovative solutions such as waste-to-energy systems and recycling programs to convert waste into energy or raw materials for reuse. It can improve the sustainability of waste management practices and contribute to the creation of more liveable and resilient cities. 

What challenges do commercial organisations face with waste management? 

Waste management is a crucial aspect of modern society, as it has significant environmental, economic, and social impacts. However, waste management poses several challenges that need to be addressed to achieve sustainable waste management practices. Commercial organisations face various challenges in managing their waste, which can impact their operations and bottom line, which include:  

  • Cost: Price is always a priority for any business. Waste management can be costly for businesses, especially if they generate large quantities of waste. Without a strategy, between 4% and 10% of an average company’s annual turnover could be consumed by storing, disposing and paying for the waste it produces. Businesses must pay for waste collection, transportation, and disposal, and these costs can be significant as the cost associated with waste management rise by 3-4% each year. 
  • Regulatory compliance: Businesses must comply with various regulations related to waste management, such as hazardous waste regulations, and environmental protection laws.  

Here are some of the key regulatory compliance requirements for waste management in the UK, failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and legal action: 

  • Duty of Care: The Environmental Protection Act 1990 imposes a duty of care on anyone who produces, imports, carries, keeps, treats, or disposes of controlled waste.  
  • Waste Hierarchy: The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 require businesses and individuals to follow the waste hierarchy when managing waste. This means that businesses must prioritise waste prevention, reuse, and recycling before resorting to disposal. 
  • Hazardous Waste Regulations: The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 set out requirements for the identification, classification, packaging, and disposal of hazardous waste. Businesses must ensure that hazardous waste is effectively managed and disposed of to prevent harm to the environment or human health. 
  • Landfill Tax: The Landfill Tax Regulations 1996 impose a tax on the disposal of waste in landfills. Businesses must pay the tax on the waste they send to landfills, and the tax amount varies depending on the type of waste and the location of the landfill. 
  • Sustainability: The UK Government has laid out a 25 Year Environment plan that aims to improve the environment within a generation. One of the key targets is to minimise waste by reusing materials and managing materials at the end of their life to minimise the impact on the environment. This means that businesses now have a responsibility to do their part to reach sustainability targets to help improve the environment and must adopt sustainability goals and initiatives, which can be challenging to do if you do not have the expertise and resources. 
  • Resource management: Some businesses generate waste that contains valuable resources that can be recovered and reused. Extracting these resources can be difficult and expensive, and many businesses do not have the infrastructure or technology to do so. 
  • Education and communication: Employee education and communication are essential for effective waste management in businesses. However, it can be challenging to communicate waste reduction and recycling initiatives to employees, especially if they lack motivation or understanding of the importance of waste management and its impact on the environment. 

What are the Economic benefits of smart waste management? 

Reducing Waste Disposal Costs 

One of the primary benefits of using smart waste management systems is that it can reduce waste disposal costs for businesses. Traditional waste management systems involve regular collections regardless of the amount of waste generated. This approach can lead to wasted resources and unnecessary costs. 

Smart waste management systems, on the other hand, use sensors to monitor waste levels in containers and determine when they need to be emptied. This approach optimises waste collection and reduces the number of collections required. As a result, businesses can reduce the cost of waste disposal by using smart waste management systems. 

The Salford City Council saw significant savings after implementing Smart Waste Management Solutions from REEN. They reduced their bins required from 180 to 82 and cut collections times by 30%, saving time and resources. 

Increased Operational Efficiency 

Smart waste management systems also increase operational efficiency for businesses. These systems allow for more accurate and timely waste collection, which means that businesses can better manage their waste and reduce the risk of overflowing bins or missed collections. 

In addition, smart waste management systems can help businesses to better understand their waste generation patterns. This knowledge can help businesses to identify areas where waste can be reduced and where recycling can be increased. After implementing a smart waste management system, the Newcastle City Council could make a data-driven decision to reallocate 50% of resources to under-supported areas as well as benefit from a 49% reduction in carbon emissions by optimising their collection routes. By optimising waste management in this way, businesses can improve their operational efficiency and reduce their overall waste generation. 

Improved Sustainability 

Another economic benefit of using smart waste management systems is improved sustainability. By reducing waste generation and increasing recycling rates, businesses can reduce their environmental impact and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. This can help businesses to attract environmentally conscious customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

Improved Public Image 

The use of smart waste management systems can improve a business’s public image. By demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and responsible waste management practices, businesses can build a positive reputation in their communities which can help to attract new customers and retain existing ones. People are more likely to support businesses that are doing their part for the environment and not only focusing on their bottom line. 

The economic benefits of using smart waste management systems for businesses are significant. By reducing waste disposal costs, increasing operational efficiency, improving sustainability, and improving their public image, businesses can achieve a range of economic benefits from implementing smart waste management systems. As technology continues to develop, it is likely that smart waste management systems will become even more advanced, and their economic benefits will become even more significant. 

Get in touch with the waste management experts at REEN to discuss the best solution for your business., our innovative waste management solutions will help your company save money while providing better service to your customers. 

REEN Control

Facilitates reduced waste and increased sorting rate by providing accurate data on what and how much waste you dispose of. It also offers user access for clear control and management of waste areas.


Container management with intelligent inventory control and identification of system resources. REEN CMS gives you full control over the container park by collecting data that ensures efficient and profitable waste management.

REEN Drive

Visualize vehicles, check their status, and find the nearest available car. Get detailed reports on trips, mileage, CO2 emissions, and analyze fleet utilization. Streamline management, make better decisions, and reduce costs with REEN Drive.


Optimization tool for container fill levels and dynamic emptying and route planning for the most efficient waste management. Enables you to operate based on demand rather than a calendar.

Get started today with REEN Control.

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