Social responsibility comes in many shapes and forms. In an office environment you might not think about an office recycling initiative as being socially responsible, however, implementing “greener” business practices can benefit the communities in which you serve, as well as society as a whole. Incorporating an office recycling program at your workplace may yield potential cost savings, but more importantly it benefits the environment, can boost employee morale, and designates your company as socially conscience.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), in the average workplace about 80 to 90 percent of solid waste is recyclable.
What Can An Office Recycle?
- Ink and Toner Cartridges – Check with your local office supplier as many have drop off locations for your ink and toner, you might even benefit from a cost reduction on replacement cartridges.
- Paper – Copy paper, stationery, notebook paper, envelopes, magazines, file folders and paper-based packaging. To conserve paper consider printing on both sides, and/or cut up sheets to make notepads. Magazines can be donated to a doctor’s office, nursing home, and hospices, or shred and use for filling in shipping packages.
- Batteries – Each state has its own office recycling regulations, start with your local municipalities to find a battery recycling center nearest to your office.
- Electronics – recycling consumer electronics like cell phones, laptops, and desktops conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emission. You can find recycling centers in your state through the EPA.
In addition, the office’s communal kitchen can be eco-friendly, too. Consider replacing individual water bottles, and disposable plates and utensils with reusable ones. Recycle beverage cans. Even coffee grinds can be recycled into the office’s landscape or taken to a local community garden and used as a natural fertilizer.
Ready to Start Office Recycling?
- Start by assessing the office workspace to identify and quantify potentially recyclable materials.
- Consider the best placement of recycling bins like in office copy rooms, restrooms, and kitchen or break rooms. Contact your local waste management company to inquire about receptacles needed.
- Discuss your program with property management, additional businesses in the same complex, and your janitorial team so that everyone is on the same page.
- Communicate and update the recycling program, and its progress, to all staff. Assign a “head of recycling” to oversee recycling implementation.
Resources to Help with Office Recycling
It’s great to get an office recycling program together, but how and where you actually dispose of the materials takes a little time to research. Here are just a few recycling resources to get you started:
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About the Vanguard Cleaning Systems Brand:
The Vanguard Cleaning Systems organization is built upon over 3,000 independently owned and operated franchised commercial cleaning businesses, which are licensed and supported by a Master Franchise network of 53 independent regional offices throughout North America. Vanguard® franchised commercial cleaning businesses service more than 15,000 businesses, healthcare companies, educational facilities, and nonprofit organizations.