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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.

Packaging
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.

Paper
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.

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