BUSINESSES will contract financial auditors or have their own in-house specialists go over the books with a fine-tooth comb to ensure dollars aren't being wasted and processes are as efficient as possible.
One place businesses rarely look for savings is from within their own waste, whether that be hazardous waste, construction materials, grease and oil, or even coffee cups and food scraps from daily life in the office.
But a local recycling program driven by the ACT Government and supported by Queanbeyan City Council is making it easier for Queanbeyan workplaces to boost their recyclables and minimise their general waste going to landfill, with large potential savings to be had in waste management.
Already around 20 Queanbeyan businesses and over 500 Canberra businesses have signed up for the ACTsmart program, which is open to businesses of all shapes and sizes, and one local company in particular, JJ Richards and Sons, is leading the way and this week became the first Queanbeyan-based company to be fully accredited under the ACTsmart program.
Manager Brian Fernandez said it was particularly appropriate that a waste management business like JJ Richards and Sons -which operates recycling depots in Fyshwick and Queanbeyan- should have its green credentials up to scratch, but said the benefits were applicable to all business."This is the trend we're seeing now.
It's a push from our customers [to become greener] because obviously it's better for the environment, but also the rising cost of tipping waste has forced people to look at alternatives. Maybe separating their cardboard, look at pulling their papers out, look at getting their mixed recyclables in," Mr Fernandez said.
"I think the benefits are huge. People need to be educated on how to reduce their waste to landfill, and this program makes that simple. You'll see a cost saving, you'll also see an environmental saving. A lot of companies, because of their quality assurance systems, they're now required to make these environmentally-friendly changes, and this program helps them do that," he said.
ACT Government Sustainability Programs manager Ros Malouf said the program included on-site training, signage and information for the work place, and a range of other measures aimed at introducing a user-friendly recycling program into workplaces.
"If your business is cutting hair or servicing cars [for example], waste is kind of a secondary process for them. But we'll actually come in and set up all the infrastructure so that's it's nice an easy to set up the recycling processes and go from there," Ms Malouf said.
"A lot of workplaces already do paper recycling, but we require them to do mixed recycling and there's also an organic component, so they collect their organics out of the landfill as well.
"The savings potential for business was strong, Ms Malouf said, and of the 500-plus participants in ACTsmart, 99 per cent were running the program on at least a cost-neutral basis, and in many cases, better than that.
"All the waste in Queanbeyan goes to ACT landfill to be processed, and landfill prices continue to go up and up, but recycling has been managed so it's cheaper to get rid of than general waste.
"So everything that goes into a recycling bin at a commercial or business premises actually saves the business money," Ms Malouf said.
To get your workplace involved in ACTsmart, visit www.actsmart.act.gov.au or call Canberra Connect 13 22 81.