Office Recycling: Tips, Tricks, and Ideas to Go Green at Work

Every day at the office, you and your colleagues produce a lot of waste. If you have an organization and really care about the environment, going green is the best thing you can do. Next time, think about those papers you are wasting or about the trash that gets mixed up. Here are a few tips for office recycling that will make everyone’s job easier, and will offer a small helping hand to the environment.

Why Resort to Office Recycling?

First of all, you should consider recycling for the sake of the environment. There’s a lot we can do to save it, and the best idea is to start with small things. Throwing a paper in a different bin than your can of soda is a great start, and convincing your colleagues to do it will gradually make things better. However, if you’re not much of an environmentalist, there are still advantages associated with office recycling.

If you leave waste around the office, it looks bad and it occupies precious space. Instead of piling up the trash in a corner, you can sort it and send it to a recycling facility. However, you should educate your employee first, and convince them why they should consider office recycling.

If the initiative is successful, you can improve the image of your company as well. When people see you care about the environment, they tend to get a better opinion about your whole business. You can also impress your employees as well, who might become more likely to recommend your company to others.

Offices Produce a Lot of Waste

Although it sounds hard to believe, people throw away a lot of things while at work. In fact, if you start counting all the pieces of trash at the end of the day, you’ll get quite an overwhelming amount. Also, the bigger the office, the bigger the quantity of waste.

On average, a big office that holds about 100 people gathers no fewer than 20 trash bags per week. This is a huge quantity of waste, and can easily be translated into a big trash bin you usually see outside buildings. Per month, this is already too much. Instead of throwing everything away mindlessly, you can organize some great office recycling efforts that will return great results.

Office Recycling Tips

Before starting any initiative, it’s good to know what strategies you will apply. Office recycling it’s not that complicated, but it’s better to set some guidelines first. This way, you’ll know what supplies you should get for the kitchen and the other places where your employees spend their time.

Also, keep in mind that recycling doesn’t only mean sorting the trash and taking it to special facilities. You can stay green just by reducing the consumption of certain resources.

1.      Deal with Paper Use

In an office, the thing you end up consuming the most is paper. Instead of encouraging the employees to take advantage of it, give them paper only when there’s absolutely necessary. For instance, set your printer to print on both sides of a sheet. This will cut the paper consumption significantly.

If something goes wrong with the printer and it doesn’t print what it needs to, avoid throwing these leftovers away. Send them to a recycling unit instead of piling them up in a bin.

Three recycling containers at the entrance of a building

2.      Provide the Office with Good Bins

Recycling gets easier if you can sort the trash properly. Therefore, it’s mandatory to buy some durable and big bins and install them in the kitchen. You can design a special place as well, where you should encourage your employees to go and get rid of their waste. However, installing bins is not enough.

You should invest in proper labeling as well. Here, there are many options. You can either tape a piece of paper to each bin and let people know what they should throw in there. Another option would be to color each bin in a different hue for each type of trash.

The last step is to inform the employees about sorting. Offer a brief informative session about all types of trash. Then, give them examples of waste they might be producing, and show them the right place for them. You can even put up brochures they can always consult whenever they don’t know how to sort their waste.

3.      Get Rid of Individual Bins

Some employers think giving each employee their own trash bin is a clever idea. However, it makes office recycling a more difficult activity. When they throw things away, they mix them up. When it’s time for the cleaning service to come into action, they dump all these bins in a single bag.

You can ask them to sort all the waste according to recycling principles, but it’s time-consuming and counterproductive. Therefore, the solution is to remove individual bins from offices. This can also convince employees to stop consuming so much. If they need to move to a different room to throw something away, they might consider reusing it.

4.      Focus on Reusing and Reducing Waste

Nothing is endless, so using your resources cleverly is the key to a green office. However, when it comes to reducing and reusing, we are not only talking about paper. You can reduce the water consumption as well by using the resource when it’s absolutely necessary.

Saving energy is the trickiest part of an office. Given the nature of your activities, you probably use a lot of electricity. However, you can still have great results and reduce your consumption. Look for electronic equipment that doesn’t consume so much power. Instead of performing poorly, this equipment can actually be more effective. It doesn’t tend to overheat so much, and it does the same job with a minimal consumption of energy.

Summing Up

Office recycling can be difficult at first, especially if your employees are not used to it. If you persevere in your attempt, you can easily turn your office green. All you need to do is educate the people, provide them with recycling supplies and proper equipment, and make them accessible to anyone during any moment of the day.

Image sources: Wikimedia Commons

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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