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Recycling and Waste Reduction in the Workplace

Nowadays, we’re all mindful of our duties surrounding recycling in the home, with a more conscientious approach to plastic packaging and many local councils providing dedicated wheelie bins specifically for reusable materials. For some reason, many of us feel this responsibility ends once we leave the house in the morning and enter the workplace, but that shouldn’t be the case.

Maintaining high standards of recycling at work needn’t be a chore; many will just need a bit of gentle encouragement, and more often than not it is simply a matter of providing convenient ways in which to recycle. Here are our 10 ways to improve recycling and waste reduction in your work place…

1.  Save Paper and Card

It may sound obvious, but paper and cardboard accounts for a huge percentage of the total waste from many businesses – especially offices. In the UK alone, we use 12.5 million tonnes of paper per year, and when you consider that it takes around 24 trees to make one tonne, this is an alarming amount!

The easiest way to save paper around the office is to cut down on unnecessary usage. Print documents only if absolutely essential, using both sides where possible, and send memos to colleagues by email. Keep reusable scrap paper close to phones for note taking, and resist the urge to write insignificant reminders on Post-it notes where possible!

2. Take a Waste Audit

If you don’t know what – and how much – you’re throwing away, reducing your waste output is going to be tricky! Take an audit of everything that is thrown out for a week using clear bin bags, and use this information to identify what could be recycled, and what areas you may need to educate your staff on for a more effective waste management process.

3.  Keep Recycling Simple

Convenience is key when encouraging others to recycle. Ensure that there are recycling points close to every desk and the regular waste bins, and that any separation between different materials is clearly marked.

4.  Use Resusables

Reducing the amount of waste you initially create makes recycling less necessary. Bring your lunch in reusable containers, provide your own mug instead of using Styrofoam cups for tea and coffee, share daily newspapers with colleagues and make sure you have a refillable shopping bag with you whenever needed.

5. Encourage Packed Lunches

Bought lunches not only cost more, but they also contribute to an enormous amount of packaging waste sent to landfill every day in the UK. Encourage a packed lunch policy at work by providing great kitchen facilities and fridges – why not even consider a potluck Friday for everyone to take part in?

6. Go Digital

Many offices supply employees with printed copies of the company manual, policies and contracts, resulting in a huge amount of paper that simply goes to waste. Instead, go digital by supplying PDF copies of all your company’s important documents, and save the paper for a better reason.

7.  Appoint a Recycling Leader

Appoint someone reliable and with an interest in the issue to the position of recycling manager, making them responsible for ensuring that all recycling points are emptied into the appropriate external bins, as well as creating signs to aid correct recycling practice around the workplace.

Statistics could also be collected and supplied to staff members, demonstrating the extent of the recycling taking place while also encouraging them to meet targets on a weekly or monthly basis.

8.  Donate to Charity

In offices where computers and other electronic equipment must be updated regularly, donating any unwanted items to charity is far greener then sending them to landfill. Many electrical items contain elements that cannot be recycled, so ensuring that they can be reused is the best way to dispose of them.

9. Use Air-dryers

A large percentage of many workplace’s waste output comes from paper towels used in the bathroom and kitchen areas. Replace your paper towel dispenser with an air dryer – the initial upfront investment will soon be worth it in the savings you make on towels.

10. Talk About Recycling

The best way to get your employees on-board with waste reduction is to get them involved in it. Discuss your company’s commitment to reduced waste levels in newsletters and company-wide emails – if your employees are enthusiastic about your mission, they’ll be more likely to follow your example.

Woodford Recycling:

Here at Woodford Recycling, we offer a range of high quality recycling services to both commercial and domestic customers, offering collection, processing and disposal of all recyclable materials.

We operate our very own waste recycling facility, using our expert knowledge and experience to provide an environmentally friendly option for your waste disposal needs, and are able to process up to 70% of the waste we collect.

Woodford even provide a range of wheelie bins – 240 litre, 660 litre and 1100 litre – ideal for offices and businesses looking for recycling solutions that we can deliver direct to your premises and collect and process once full.

So for more information on how Woodford can help your business to recycle, or to discuss any of our skip hire, hazardous waste disposal, septic tank emptying or sand, gravel and top soil supply services, get in touch today to speak to a member of our friendly team.

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