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10 Tips To Increase Office Recycling

06 May 2022

It’s becoming clear that we all need to take greater responsibility for our negative impact on the environment. This is particularly true within an office environment, where large amounts of waste are generated on a daily basis. It’s highly likely that your office has a recycling system, which helps to prevent recyclable materials from ending up in landfill, instead, giving them a new lease of life through the manufacturer of novel and exciting products. However, is your current recycling programme really up to scratch? Could you and your colleagues be doing more? Despite popular belief, increasing your office recycling needn’t take a huge amount of time or money. Now is the perfect time to think about how you could increase your efforts.

 In this article, we will summarise 10 key tips for helping to support and increase your office recycling efforts and reducing your carbon footprint.

1. Collect More Recyclable Materials

While this may seem obvious, it is definitely worth mentioning, as many offices limit themselves to recycling just paper, cans and bottles. There are plenty more recyclable materials that are used within an office environment from day to day. Start by conducting a detailed waste audit of your office. Think about the waste that is being generated, what is currently being recycled and what could be recycled instead of being trashed. Don’t forget about electronic waste items, things like computers, phones and printers can be collected by recycling companies and repurposed.

2. Install Centralised Recycling Bins

We need to make the process of recycling as easy as possible, with a constant reminder about its importance. By getting rid of individual waste bins and installing clear recycling bins in a centralised location, employees will have to take responsibility for sorting their own waste. This will increase employees’ knowledge of recycling and the importance of living more sustainably.

3. Provide Reusable Coffee Cups 

Caffeine is an office stable, meaning that workers get through a staggering amount of coffee cups every day. Disposable coffee cups are incredibly wasteful, generating a huge amount of landfill waste each year. By providing their employees with reusable coffee cups and water bottles, companies can drastically reduce this waste. You can even take the opportunity to add some branding to your reusable drinks vessels to generate a bit of free advertising!

5. Go Paperless

Everything is digital these days, so why not take the opportunity to go completely paperless. Instead of printing everything out, get into the habit of writing notes, setting reminders and editing and proofreading documents on the computer. If going completely paperless isn’t an option for you just yet, take measures to cut down on your paper usage. Try printing on recycled paper and printing on both sides of each sheet.

6. Set Up A Swap Shop

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. This can certainly be true when it comes to office items. Consider setting up a designated “swap shop” area, where your co-workers can leave unwanted items, such as computers, office furniture or stationery. If anyone needs some new office supplies, they can check out this area before putting an order in for new products.

7. Educate Staff

Staff need to be educated about the importance of recycling within an office environment. It would be worthwhile creating some information leaflets to hand around, which describe exactly what can be recycled and where it should be taken. Use infographics to make it simple and clear. If colleagues understand more about sustainable options, they are more likely to implement them.

8. Buy Recycled Products

Recycling doesn’t just relate to the waste you generate, it also relates to the products that you buy. When buying new items consider buying recycled products. From ink cartridges to stationery, there are so many great eco-friendly products to choose from these days.

9. Arrange Recycling Competitions

Office workers thrive on a bit of light-hearted competition, so why not arrange some recycling contests? To get everybody engaged with your office recycling initiatives, organise some weekly challenges and rewards. You could reward your team for their effort with an early finish or a few drinks in the local pub.

10. Set Monthly Targets and Goals

Finally, setting achievable monthly targets and goals can really help to spur your workforce on. Consider how you will measure and record your achievements. Will you focus on recycling a particular material or generating a specific amount of recyclable waste? Make sure you update your team regularly on their progress - they will feel proud of their environmental achievements!

Final Thoughts

These easy to implement and achievable tips are a great place to start as you work towards creating a more sustainable office. Talk through all of your chosen strategies first with your team to ensure that you are all on the same page. Together you can commit to making healthy changes within your office.