Like many other sectors, the waste and recycling industry has faced significant inflationary costs in 2021, and as a result, many suppliers of business waste services are increasing prices to cover rising costs.

Much of the increase is driven by the European HGV-qualified driver shortage. This driver shortage was one of the reasons the UK encountered a fuel crisis earlier this year, and the labour costs to deliver any services reliant on HGV transport have increased significantly.

Fuel prices have also risen by 26%, and alternative vehicle power sources such as electricity have risen significantly this year. Supply chain problems in the manufacture and repair of vehicles have also increased costs and all these impacts come on top of general inflation as tracked by RPI, which is currently tracking at 6%.

There is some better news, with commodity prices rising, the value of good quality source segregated recycling has increased.

What are First Mile doing about it?

First Mile review prices every year but are doing several things that mean the full impact of the cost increases will not need to be passed on to our customers.

  • Driver Academy - We’ve relaunched our unique Driver Training Academy, where we up-skill drivers with normal car driving licenses to qualify as HGV drivers, and so this is mitigating the impact of the shortage. Every month we are qualifying several drivers in order to ensure long-term cost stability and great service
  • Expanded value range of services – to help customers reduce their cost of recycling we have expanded our value recycling range which means you can recycle most of your waste at a much lower cost if you do some source segregation and minimise the use of a mixed recycling or general waste service. We can offer this service at a lower cost because recycling segregated materials costs less and so we pass this saving on to you. More information is below

How can our customers reduce costs?

There are several ways First Mile can help existing and new customers reduce their waste and recycling costs.

Make use of our Value Range of Recycling Services

First Mile offers several recycling services that help customers take material currently going into general waste or “mixed” recycling services, recycle them to a higher standard, and pay less.

For example, just before the pandemic, we launched our polybag “Flexible Plastic” service for fashion retailers. This helped retailers on Oxford Street get polybags out of general waste and into our flexible plastic service, with savings of up-to 40%.

The service is now available to any customers who produce flexible plastics or films.

If you're an offices, you can implement paper recycling alongside their mixed recycling service, recycling it to a higher standard, and saving money too.

Click here to explore our range of services and see which ones might work for your business.

Recycle food or coffee

Food waste and coffee grounds can be easily recycled and our services for both are much lower cost than general waste. If you're not already recycling food or coffee, set up a service to reduce your general waste consumption and improve recycling.

Both services are available in sizes and service types that can suit you regardless of how much you produce. From office kitchenettes to restaurants, we can help you recycle food and save money.

Implement waste reduction practices

First Mile offer lots of support in helping businesses reduce waste.

From workshops for your business to waste audits to analyse exactly what is going into your bins, enabling you to use data to make purchasing decisions to reduce waste.

In addition, we are partnered with Clubzero, a company offering reusable services to reduce the amount of waste businesses produce.

Avoid excess waste and contamination charges

Many waste suppliers charge hefty excess waste and contamination fees.

These can be avoided by making sure you have the right services for your needs, with the right wheelie weight limits for your business.

If you’re currently getting lots of excess fees from your contractor, we can help you do a review of your current waste costs. Click here to make an enquiry and find out more.

We’ve also helped customers take the sting out of contamination charges they had been paying with other contractors. We do this by ensuring your internal set-up is easy to use, ensuring the right thing ends up in the right bin.

Any business can order recycling posters here and they are free to First Mile customers. In addition, our bin range can help you implement a really clear and easy-to-use service, or give your office bins a refresh, from as little as £15 per bin.

If you would like any more information, or to discuss pricing or how First Mile can save you money click here to raise a ticket if you're an existing customer, or click here to enquire if you're a new customer.