At work, you’re in the zone. And because you’re so focused on doing a great job, you probably don’t have much time to think about what should go in the recycling bin and what is just trash. But here at Carolina Fibre, we know how easy it is to establish healthy, productive patterns of sustainability no matter where you work! To kick off your new recycling regimen, we’ve compiled a short list of items you can keep out of the garbage cans for a cleaner, greener work environment.
It might seem like a given, but paper still ranks highly in materials that make up the general population’s waste. If you’ve finished with a document you printed, and it doesn’t contain sensitive information, use the backside as your own notepad. If the document does have confidential details on it, look into a trusted shredding service that will recycle the unusable paper once there is no longer any danger of passing on personal or corporate information.
In case you weren’t aware, ink and toner cartridges are made of plastic and metal and are difficult to make in the first place. Most office supply stores will accept empty cartridges when you make a purchase (such as more ink and toner), and some even offer a discount on your purchase just for doing the environmentally responsible thing!
Computers and Technology
If you’ve recently upgraded your office computers or other electronic devices, it’s tempting to toss out any pieces that you know won’t sell. But this kind of waste can cause just as much damage to the environment as other waste products if improperly disposed of, which is why there are now places that will accept older computers and can recycle them properly for you.
Batteries can be tricky to recycle in the sense that you toss out the old and keep buying new ones. To this end, we recommend that your office invests in rechargeable batteries. Set up a designated area in the workspace for letting them refresh their power, and help your employees remember to simply switch out sets as needed.
Shipping supplies, such as padded envelopes, tape, the backings of labels, and other items can put a strain on the waste disposal systems of many companies. Like many other materials, you’ll want to make sure that none of these can be repurposed before they are disposed of with the rest of the office garbage. If not, check with your recycling service to properly recycle them, which will effectively eliminate them from the work environment and avoid putting a strain on the community’s landfills.
Some recycling services separate paper and cardboard waste, and others are unable to accept cardboard because of their facilities’ limitations. If that’s the case, don’t be discouraged! If possible, you might even be able to reuse boxes and other cardboard products rather than immediately throwing them out, so after you find out what your recycling service will and won’t be able to take care of for you, take a look around and see if you can find a use for them.
If your trash and recycling pick-up service doesn’t separate recyclables, you might not be able to put them in the regular blue bins, but that doesn’t mean plastic bags from lunch time can’t be recycled properly. If this is the case where you live and work, have a separate collection area for plastic bags and arrange for them to be taken to your local grocery store or drop-off point.
Once you establish a recycling system at work, it’s only a matter of time before recycling company waste in the most optimal way becomes routine for everyone. If you’re ready to initiate a company-wide recycling program, contact Carolina Fibre to find out how we can help!