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Sustainability initiative gets 136 Kent SMEs recycling

London Remade Solutions and First Mile have recruited 136 small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), in Dartford and Gravesham Borough Councils, to start recycling and become more economically and environmentally sustainable.

The one year sustainability initiative, funded by The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), targeted these hard-to-reach businesses. The outcomes are that, on average, the 136 businesses each put out two and a half less refuse sacks and two more recycling sacks every week. This suggests that the businesses are not only recycling but are also thinking about minimising the waste they produce too.

Bruce Bratley from First Mile said: “We are delighted we have been able to encourage such great levels of commercial recycling participation in Kent.
Engaging with SMEs on environmental issues is not always easy, but this
initiative has taken a big step in the right direction. The service will be continuing in the project area and we hope to see many more businesses get recycling.”

London Remade Solutions provided face-to-face communication with the SMEs. This was of paramount importance for the initiative's success, along with the provision of free recycling sacks to trial. The businesses were encouraged to undertake a trial with the economic and environmental benefits explained. They are able to recycle mixed paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, and steel and aluminium cans.

Dee Moloney, Director of London Remade Solutions, said: “SMEs are notoriously hard to engage with because of their resource constraints. I'm proud that we have encouraged so many businesses to start recycling. Once it is explained to them that this action will make them more sustainable – saving them money and improving the environment – the penny drops that they really ought to participate with other businesses.”

Leaflets were sent to businesses in Dartford and Gravesham, informing them of
the services available through First Mile and about the new legislation for businesses to have to pre-treat waste. The team also networked with businesses and ensured the community were engaged with by attending local events.

Businesses that would like to start recycling can contact First Mile to find out
more about its services: at www.thefirstmile.co.uk
or 0800 612 9894.

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