Easy Ways to Recycle in the Office

Offices can produce large amounts of waste and it probably seems like a lot of work to convert the entire workforce to a proper recycling regime, but there are easy ways to cut down on the amount of waste your office produces without it feeling like an insurmountable hassle.

The team here at Kart A Way have put together these easy tips which will help turn your office from waste to efficiency.

Improve your printing practicesstack of paper

Your office likely uses much more paper than it needs to and cutting down on the paper consumption will help to dramatically reduce the overall waste produced by your office. There are a number of ways to cut down on paper consumption and a good place to start is taking a look at how printing in your office operates. The simplest option is to ensure that all printers in the office are setup for double sided printing by default. This could halve paper consumption just like that, so it is definitely worth doing.

Smaller personal touches your employees can take could also help reduce paper consumption. For example, if a document runs slightly over onto a new page by only a few lines, have a look at the format of the document itself – font size, margins,  paragraph breaks – to fit it on fewer pages.

A more technical, wider scale printing solution is to adopt ‘pull printing’. This is where a print job is sent to a printing server, and is then activated by the user at the printer itself. This will help cut down on uncollected or even accidental printing jobs, which could account for a large amount of paper consumption.

Go paperless

Ultimately, the best way to eliminate paper consumption is to wean your office off paper overall. The digital age is well under way and there’s no reason that your business shouldn’t extend this to the way it handles documents. Cloud computing means it’s easier than ever to produce, share and edit documents without the need for a hard copy and there are many digital alternatives to sticky notes that can sit on your desktop, ready to be edited whenever you want. The benefits of going digital are comprehensive and can help your business in many ways, and the reduction of paper consumption is an added bonus that you will certainly see the impact of quickly. If you do still need to print some documents, make sure you use recycled paper and follow the printing tips we talked about earlier.

Reuse mugs and bottles

Your employees likely get through a large amount of coffee, tea and water throughout the working week so take advantage of drinking habits by encouraging the use of alternatives to plastic/paper cups. Stock your kitchen with real cutlery and plates for food and encourage employees to bring their own mugs for personal use at their desk.

Use designated recycling bins

recycling binsHaving an infrastructure in place is vital for any recycling system, especially in a heavily populated office. There’s no use implementing office-wide recycling if your employees don’t have any designated recycling areas. The best way to tackle this is to adopt the use of recycling bins around the office, replacing personal bins at desks if you haven’t already. For the system to work properly and efficiently, the bins should be easily accessible to different sections of the office and should be clearly labelled so not only do employees know which bin is which, but also what kinds of things should be put in which bins. Labels with pictures of recyclable objects are perfect for recycling bins, and colour coding bins will make for an easy to identify visual clue so employees can get used to the new system

Obviously, it’s important to keep different waste flows separate to avoid cross contamination, and it might be smart to make the number of recycle points higher than standard general waste bins to encourage employees to engage with the system.

Start small, slowly expand

Implementing an office or company wide recycling scheme might take some getting used to so it’s smart not to overwhelm employees by bringing in change after change in quick succession. Start small by tackling paper and card waste as they are simple to deal with and will account for a large volume of the overall office waste. Once that’s in place and working efficiently, you can look into dealing with different materials like batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and computer & electronic equipment. Implementing different parts of the full recycling system in stages will make things more easy to manage and less complicated. Staff will fare far better with a prolonged push than an intense turnaround.

Raise awareness

Possibly the most important part of ensuring the success of any recycling program is raising the awareness of the benefits and methods of recycling amongst employees. It’s best to do this early on when the system is just starting out so it can grow easier in the future. A recycling awareness day might be a good idea, with specifically designed graphics which communicate the simplicity of recycling and the environmental and financial benefits such little effort brings. The more staff that understand why recycling is important the more effective it will be, so being upfront and clear to your employees about any new systems is crucial.

Kart A Way offer comprehensive waste management services to commercial and domestic customers. We pride ourselves on our efficiency and our waste transfer system means that 100% of waste we collect is recycled, so none of your waste ever has to go to a landfill. Our experienced, friendly team are ready to help so get in touch today to discuss the waste management services we offer.