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Waste Management and Recycling in the Salon

No matter how economical you think your salon is, you can always do more to reduce waste and recycle.

The Environment Agency says that consumers and businesses produce too much waste – more than 400 million tonnes – and send too much of it to landfill. We need to reduce, reuse and recycle!

New rules that were introduced in October mean that all businesses have to make more of an effort to recycle some of their waste before it goes to landfill – such as simply keeping your paper or plastic waste separate from the rest of your rubbish and getting it recycled.

Speak to local waste management contractors for more advice, or check out the Environment Agency’s factsheet.t

  • Recycling is much easier when you set up a system. Contact your local council to find out what recycling it offers, and where your local recycling centre is. You can then organise bins accordingly.
  • It’s easy to reduce the amount of paper you use by using both sides.
  • Paper, empty cans, plastic and glass bottles can all be separated into bins for recycling.
  • Do you fax when you could email? Can you order stock online or by phone?
  • In your staff room, eliminate waste by getting rid of disposable cups and make sure everyone has a mug that can be washed up and reused instead of throwing a plastic cup away after every drink.
  • Any left over food and hair can be used as compost.
  • Don’t just throw old furniture away – recycle it. Furniture can be donated to schools, homeless shelters or non-profit organisations.
  • Consider buying second-hand furniture.
  • Whenever possible, buy recycled products. Paper, stationery, toilet paper, rubbish bags and paper towels are all readily available in recycled versions.
  • The Environment Agency says liquid wastes, particularly chemicals such as hair dye, can be toxic and are banned from landfill. They pollute our environment – and can kill wildlife, and in extreme cases, enter our drinking water. So make sure you don’t pour it down the sink and get a registered waste contractor in to take it away and deal with it properly.
  • Shavers and other electrical items can be recycled. Under the new rules that came in on 1 July 2007, if you’re replacing an item on a like-for-like basis, then hand back the old one and it will be recycled for free.
  • Spread the word! Tell your clients that you promote a ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ policy and make it clear that you are a ‘green’ salon that is as environmentally friendly as possible.
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