How to Start a Recycling Program at Work

You have a steel straw. You compost, recycle your glass bottles, and dispose of your trash accordingly. Containers are washed and reused in your household and, as much as you can, you only use organic products to clean your home. Don’t you wish you can do your little part at helping the environment at work, too?

Workplaces generally have their own green initiatives. Paper shredding services employed by most workplaces commit to zero waste solutions. Lighting and HVAC systems are backed by efficient building designs. But on a smaller scale, companies rely on initiative-driven employees to hit green goals for their workspaces.

So, what can you do to kickstart green practices in your office?

Reduce Paper Consumption

Even with trustworthy paper shredding services, there’s still the problem of reducing enough paper waste in the first place. Focusing on paper consumption can be your first step toward making a greener workspace.

Initiate this by setting up your office printers for duplex printing or printing on double-side. Good-quality paper can absorb and dry ink quickly enough for smudges and bleedthrough to become non-issues. If paper quality is an issue, you can always suggest using old papers that don’t have sensitive information on them.

Pull printing or FollowMe printing is efficient for workplaces with more than 50 staff. The reason this works well for big offices is that activating print jobs at the printer can reduce wasted print jobs by 30%. The savings from the reduced printing volumes can be worth the technicality and capital investment required by the setup.

EPA-compliant Recycling

When your paper initiatives take off, it’s time to move on to bigger recyclable hurdles. Ink cartridges are a good start. Following that, unused electronic equipment can be disposed of. This way, acquisitions can furnish your office with new equipment and your workplace frees up space.

Disposing of old computers, printers, monitors, and other electronic equipment isn’t as easy as dumping them in the recyclable bin. EPA standards exist for the dumping of electronics in addition to state and local laws. Moreover, recycling large items like these can be profitable if they are taken to the right place.

Encourage Personal Practices

Recycling in the workplace

Green practices can be inculcated as office tradition. Food-friendly offices can have a cupboard stacked with party essentials such as reusable cups, plates, and cutlery for parties. The water cooler could lose its stack of disposable cups if every employee is encouraged to bring their reusable cups.

Single-use plastics, except in cases where it’s unavoidable, can be banned from the office as an extension of the rule above. Zero-waste lunches can be encouraged by the use of reusable lunch bags instead of brown bags and zip locks. Fashion-conscious employees could also be encouraged to curb their consumerism habit through clothing swaps.

Another way you can help your workplace’s green initiatives is to analyze ongoing practices. Check if your office’s paper shredding services also accommodate the disposal of other wastes. Report faulty plumbing immediately to prevent excess waste. Suggest switching to eco-friendly lights that are energy efficient. Open windows if possible or adjust AC usage according to the number of people in the office.

Other employees can also be encouraged to participate in your initiatives. A proper green team can lessen the workload on your part and encourage more people in your office to do their part. Small steps can help an office become greener.


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