Whether you’re looking to cut costs in your business or just playing your role in saving an ailing planet, your first thought is to recycle in the office. However, while most businesses are wasteful, not many are aware of the simple tricks they can use to recycle and save resources.
If done correctly, effective waste recycling can help a company avoid sending the litter to a landfill and also save on commercial cleaning costs without affecting the performance or productivity of the business negatively.
How Much Waste does an Average Office Produce?
On average a business with an office with about 50 workers produces an average of 10 waste bins weekly.
However, even though 80% of office waste is recyclable, lack of proper waste recycling systems can lead to most of the waste being taken to the landfill. Deciding to recycle does not require changing system and investing in waste handling systems. You can make plenty of progress by just implementing simple and cost-free tips.
To get you started on your recycling dream and make your office more effective and efficient in recycling and reusing, here are a few tips that you can consider. Even though some of them seem quite obvious, you will be surprised to note that you never thought of them before.
1. Think before printing documents
The leading cause of waste in the office is printing documents when you don’t need to. Before printing, ask yourself, is it really necessary? Could this be sent in another way, such as email?
Sometimes, the best approach to recycling is limiting use and using only when necessary. If the document can be shared in another way instead of printing, then it is better to send it digitally.
If printing is a must, you could also consider using double-sided printing. This can easily cut the number of papers required by half and reduce the costs as well.
Second, you can make use of follome printing or pull printing. Although expensive and a little technical to set up, it is quite effective, especially if you have many employees.
Pull-printing offer a variety of features that you can use to monitor and reduce wastage of printing paper at the office.
2. Reduce or Reuse
Strategies for office paper waste reduction are great in reducing waste, but you can also implement other easier methods like reusing and reducing reliance on printing papers in the office.
You can also use the approach of reducing or reuse on a variety of other aspects in the office. For instance, you can encourage employees to switch off appliances they are not using like air conditioning and instead open the windows, switch off the lights and also reuse items like packaging boxes.
3. Gradually Expanding Recycling System
Once you exhaust your reduction and reusing options, you can try to implement broader recycling methods that are more comprehensive.
Successful systems for waste recycling start small and develop over time to improve and match the goals of your business.
You can start with paper and card recycling, then move on to other waste such as glass, plastic, food waste, furniture, and batteries. Starting with paper waste is prudent because they form the highest volume of waste product in the office.
4. Invest in Durable Bins and Labelling
Most offices use recyclable materials but, only few have actual places to recycle this waste. To encourage proactive recycling, you need to have bins that are appropriately labelled to make sorting the waste much easier.
You can also hire the services of a commercial cleaning company such as Storm International to help with this. Regardless of the preference, we recommend sourcing durable and well-labeled bins.
Also, separating the bins for every recycling option is key as it ensures streams of waste are not contaminated and can be easily recycled. It’s recommended to use color-coded bins that are visible. This enables employees to make use of the bins efficiently. Additionally, you can attach a picture showing different types of waste that can be thrown in each bin. All these measures will make it easier to sort the waste during recycling.
5. Eliminate Personal Bins
To encourage proper disposal and also reduce wastage, you need to get rid of personal bins. Having bins in unmonitored areas makes it easier for the staff to discard even things that can be reused.
Even though most employees will not take this lightly, it is important to explain to them why the measure is being taken and why it is important. With time, they will buy into the idea and contribute to its success.
6. Hold a Recycling Awareness Day/Campaign
Holding discussions and awareness meetings at the workplace can go a long in boosting your efforts to encourage recycling.
Awareness campaigns help to change employee habits, norms, and understanding why it is important to recycle. Highlighting benefits such as cost reduction and a healthy working environment as a result of waste reduction and recycling in a conducive and clean environment is important.
7. Move to a Zero-To-Landfill System.
Even with an excellent recycling system, your office will still have general residual waste that will need to be sent to a landfill once in a while.
To eliminate such waste, you should consider sending the waste for incineration. There are a lot of specialist waste firms that can provide you with this service. With the help of such firms, some of the waste can be processed to provide energy instead of just being thrown away.
According to studies, there are more benefits of to incineration compared to downsides. These include the production of electricity and reduced landfill.
A zero-to-landfill business provides a fascinating and impressive work environment that can motivate employees to work excellently and improve productivity while ensuring the company has a smaller carbon footprint and with enough systems, you might even cut costs and adopt a green working environment.
Most of the waste generated in offices is recyclable, and it is easy to reduce wastage through simple processes. Embracing recycling at the workplace will not only help to nurse the planet but will also provide a cleaner and healthier environment for your employees and children. It will also help to cut costs and reduce recurrent expenditure at the workplace.