A busy commercial office can produce a lot of waste over the course of an average work week, including paper and cardboard products, glass and plastic, food waste and electronic goods. By making an effort to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill and recycling where possible, you will not only be helping the planet, but saving money at the same time.
According to the EPA, a typical waste bin in a commercial office contains about 76% paper and cardboard, 12% food waste and 6% glass and plastic. That means that almost all the contents of the waste bin could be recycled, however without a waste reduction plan in place, often this recyclable waste is ending up as landfill.
Electronic waste in Australia is estimated to be growing at more than three times the rate of domestic waste from households and other council waste. This type of waste includes computers, mobile phones, TV’s, copiers, scanners, printers, fax machines and other electronic devices.
Most electronic devices contain reusable components and material which can be recycled, including aluminium, steel and copper. For example, more than 90% of the material in a mobile phone can be recovered and recycled into new products.
There are four simple ways your office can reduce waste:
1. Avoid – do we need it?
In the case of paper waste, consider electronically storing documents rather than printing. Email rather than post a letter. Make smart decisions in regards to purchasing electronic goods and make sure they are maintained properly to extend their life span.
2. Reduce – do we need so much?
Save your business money while saving the planet by reducing the amount of paper, cardboard and electronic goods you use. Have a look around your office for opportunities to reduce the use of these products.
3. Reuse – can we use it again?
Reuse items rather than discard them. Items like folders, files and other stationary can be reused. Re-home electrical items rather than throwing them out if they no longer meet your needs. Provide reusable cups, cutlery and crockery for staff use.
4. Recycle - Can someone else use it or turn it into new products?
Before you throw it away, ask yourself – can it be recycled? Make sure your staff and cleaners follow your recycling program and that they put materials in the correct bins. When purchasing items buy recycled where possible – for example office paper and toilet paper are available using recycled materials.
Hiring the services of a commercial waste management company can save you a great deal of time and hassle. At Think Solutions Cleaning & Support, we provide a safe, responsible and reliable waste removal and recycling service. We cover every aspect of waste management, leaving you free to focus on other areas of your business.