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25 ways to reduce rubbish in offices

Computer keyboard with recycling symbolIt is important that in this day and age, all companies try and cut down on the amount of waste they produce and recycle as much as possible. The number of green businesses and green offices are growing, but some companies are still lagging. This blog discusses some easy things offices can implement quickly and simply in order to start reducing office waste.

1.    When purchasing any supplies for the office, try and choose options that do not include a lot of excess packaging. If packaging is unavoidable, try and recycle
2.    Speak to suppliers about delivering goods in returnable containers rather than loads of packaging. This is becoming more popular, so it is worth asking your supplier in advance
3.    Bulk buy coffee, tea and sugar supplies. This will stop staff bringing in their own or buying drinks from coffee shops. Buying in bulk also cuts down on the packaging used
4.    Provide a filtered water system to cut down on plastic bottles in the office

Food and drink
5.    Ask your employees to use reusable cutlery/ silverware rather than bringing in disposable plastic cutlery. If your company can provide staff with cutlery in the staffroom, they will be less likely to bring in disposable items
6.    Use reusable cups and mugs. Ask employees to bring their own or provide them as a gesture of good will. They are reasonably cheap and will mean you will significantly cut down on the number of disposable coffee cups you need to get rid of. They are notoriously difficult to recycle
7.    Consider buying a composting bin to place in the staff kitchen area. It’s a great way to avoid as much waste going to landfill as possible. By putting food waste in a separate compost bin, you can have it collected by a company or use the compost yourself if you have any green space or garden
8.    Also get your employees to try and bring their own lunches in their own containers or provide them with plates and bowls. This will cut back significantly on the amount of food packaging you have to throw away
9.    Invest in tea towels rather than providing staff with paper towels.

10.    Wherever possible, store files digitally. Although this is standard practice for many companies, there are a lot of businesses still heavily reliant on printed copies
11.    Change the settings on all computers to automatically print double sided
12.    Encourage your staff to make amends to documents digitally rather than printing off several drafts of documents
13.    If you can, re use scrap pieces of paper, envelopes, folders and other stationary whenever possible
14.    Buy lighter weight paper
15.    Leave messages for colleagues by sending them emails rather than writing messages down
16.    Before printing documents, look at the margins and line spacing on your documents to ensure you are using the space as efficiently as possible
17.    Recycle unwanted paper and shred any confidential information. Shredded paper can also be recycled, so ensure this always happens.
18.    Try and take a tablet or laptop into meetings to take notes on rather than pen and paper
19.    If you do have to print, try and avoid printing in colour
20.    Store important staff information such as policies and notifications in a central location on the computer system that people can access rather than printing several copies of each update.

Office Equipment
21.    Make the most out of all of your ink cartridges. Rather than buying new ones when they are finished, look into buying refills instead to cut down on the amount of plastic you are using
22.    When buying electrical equipment for your office always think quality over price. Although you may have to pay slightly more, going for higher quality equipment should last you longer and will therefore be more cost efficient but also reduce the waste created when you replace it
23.    If you only use certain equipment occasionally, see if you can hire it instead of buying it outright
24.    Ensure you dispose of your electrical equipment in the right way, such as batteries
25.    Make sure you have clearly labelled bins throughout the office and make it as easy for staff to recycle as possible. Get rid of individual bins at people’s desk as it will make them head over to the main bins and are therefore more likely to split their rubbish into the correct bins.

Some offices have managed to become completely paperless. Although this may not be achievable for some companies, the list above shows that there are a variety of things you can implement to ensure you are going in the right direction. The main thing is to implement waste cutting techniques and ensure your staff stick to them. It will take some time for staff to get used to all the new initiatives, but once they have got into a routine, you should see a significant drop in your office waste. Trying an incentive and rewarding the member of staff who reduces their waste the most is also an effective tactic.

To find out more about how we can help you with your office waste disposal needs, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

11 ways to stay safe around skips

loaded dumpster near construction siteHiring a skip is a quick and easy way to get rid of the rubbish you have been storing in your home or business. Although you might not think that hiring a skip is particularly dangerous, if you are not sensible and careful during the process it could lead to potential injuries. Here are a few tips to make sure you and other people remain safe whilst you hire and use your skip.  A lot of the tips are common sense, however if you are in a rush, even the simplest things can be forgotten and that’s when things can become risky.

1.    When preparing for your skip, ensure you are ready for the skip’s arrival. Remember that your skip needs to be placed on a stable, flat surface that is free from any obstructions. Ensure all vehicles have been removed from your drive if this is where you are planning your skip to go. Also make sure if you are placing the skip on the side of a road that the height and position of the skip will not obscure the view of any cars driving past or reversing.

2.    Ensure your skip can be delivered with ease. Remove any cars or obstacles that could stop the delivery truck accessing your property.

3.    Once your skip has been delivered, do NOT try and move it. It is important you know where you want the skip in advance, as once it is placed on the ground you will not be able to move it yourself. They are extremely heavy and attempting to move a skip can not only cause you injury, it can damage the surface it is placed on.

4.    When the skip is being delivered, keep your young children and any pets inside the house. They can be extremely inquisitive to new things and want to get involved but it can be dangerous if they get in the way. Small children and pets will not be easily visible to the driver delivering your skip.

5.    Be careful when filling your skip. Always check there are no small animals, pets or children that have climbed in the skip before you place heavy items into it.

6.    Never put hazardous waste in skips or any other item that is not suitable for skips. Check online or contact us for the full list of items you should not place in skips if you are unsure. Gas cylinders, paint, white goods and batteries are all good examples of what you cannot place in skips.

7.    Be careful when placing heavy items in the skip. Always lift with your knees and always ask for help if you need it. Skips have really high sides so although you may be able to lift the item, being able to lift it high enough to place into the skip can be another matter. It can cause back injuries and lasting damage, so you must know your limits.

8.    Don’t overfill your skip. If your skip is overfilled it may not be collected as it would be unsafe to drive on roads with a skip that full. Each skip has a weight limit that you need to stick to. Even if you are not exceeding the weight limit, if you have overfilled your skip there is a chance items could fall out and cause damage.

9.    Have a system when loading your skip. Don’t just throw it all in at once. If you take a minute to think about how to load it properly, you will be able to fit more in it and ensure nothing can fall out.

10.    Always think about the public. This is slightly less of a risk if the skip is on your private property but if you have it placed on a street you need to ensure that it is not getting in anyone’s way. You may want to consider hazard lights to indicate to people that the skip is there.

11.    Monitor your skip, especially if it is on a public street. You need to make sure that other people are not taking advantage and using your skip as well. Not only is this rude, they could be putting hazardous material in the skip which does not belong there.

All these tips are easy to stick to and by following these rules, you will not only stay safe around skips, you will be able to make the most out of your skip hire.

To find out more about how we can help you with your waste disposal needs, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

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