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Recycling In The Workplace

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 20 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Recycling Recycle Workplace Employment

We think a great deal about recycling at home, and we're constantly being urged to recycle all manner of things there, but rarely do we consider that we need to recycle in the workplace. Supermarkets and large places of employment do have initiatives, but recycling all that paper and plastic is something to concern us every one of us, wherever we are.

Look around the home and most of us separate out plastic, cardboard, even juice containers in some areas, and make sure we recycle them along with paper. There's no reason that kind of recycling can't be accomplished in the workplace. It takes a little effort, but the results are worthwhile in the long term.

Many businesses buy recycled paper and use recycled ink cartridges as a matter of course. From there it's just a short step to actually recycling the huge volume of waste paper and plastic that any business generates. Having it picked up is the easy part. In fact, recycling can even improve office safety, by not having waste materials all over the place.

Recycle Paper And Plastics

There are probably more paper and plastics in the workplace than any other recyclable material. The problem is collecting it, as most employees will put it in their rubbish bins, to be picked up by cleaners at the end of the day.

Changing that requires a certain amount of re-education, but it can be accomplished over time. Make bins for paper and plastic available in several parts of the office - convenience is vital if you want people to participate - and have reminders posted. A real change won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

From there it's a simple process to empty the bins regularly into a large recycling dumpster (make sure the materials can be mixed) that's provided by a contractor. It's something any place of employment should encourage, not only for social responsibility, but because it can significantly lower the rubbish bill.

Recycling Other Items

While paper and plastic make up the bulk of materials to recycle in the workplace, there are plenty of others items, too. How about those ink cartridges? Offices and businesses often buy them recycled, but when empty they can be recycled yet again. Once more, it's simply a matter of collecting them, and a small bin by the printers can easily accomplish that.

It's not so much a recycling issue, but using energy-saving light bulbs can create a better light and cut down on the number of bulbs that need to be thrown away, which adds to everything else to lower the company's carbon footprint.

You could even have a bin in the lunch room for food that's not eaten, and someone could take it home to add to the compost bin (don't forget used tea bags and coffee grounds, too!).

The importance of recycling can't be overstated. To recycle needs to become as commonplace at work as it is at home, perhaps even more so, from the amount of material there. So much of our lives are spent at our places of employment, and we generate a lot of recyclable material. With a small effort, we can cut carbon footprints a great deal.

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