How can you recycle more?
At work or at home?
Let’s help you to make recycling at work as easy as possible so it doesn’t feel like it’s a chore? Here are some suggestions to encourage everyone in your workplace to recycle more:
Remove any bins under desks – have recycling stations
A general waste bin under the desk will prevent recycling and encourage laziness. Instead, why not trial having a central place in the office for disposal of waste? Not only will this get people moving out of their chairs (get those steps up), but also ensure all waste goes in the right bin. All food waste can go in the kitchen bin, but wastepaper, plastic and glass can go in separate recycling bins.
Recycle your paper and cardboard
Place a shredding unit or bag close to the recycling. Encourage employees to think about whether it is waste or recycling that they have and use the appropriate bin. Anything containing customer information, phone numbers, other contact details or company financials should go in the shredding bin to avoid the risk of data fraud and ensure you remain GDPR Compliant.
Use signage on recycling bins
Avoid confusion and contamination by using clear signage next to all your bins. Encourage containers to be rinsed and dried before adding to the recycling. Waste contaminated with food may all end up in landfill and all your efforts will be wasted. The aim is that the least amount possible ends up in the general waste bin.
If you’re unsure about what to do with any workwear once it gets damaged or no longer required, then consider using a shredding service. Uniforms need to be securely shredded to protect your brand and ensure an outsider does not use the uniform to commit fraud. Shredding is the best way to handle textiles such as these. The shredded pieces of material are repurposed as fillings for upholstery so are fully recycled.
Recycle your ink cartridges
Did you know that just 15% of ink and toner cartridges are recycled in the UK? Cartridges contain many components that can be used again, along with ink residue which must be handled carefully. Today, they are so easy to recycle and a simple way that an office can cut down on landfill. All major ink and toner suppliers offer free a return scheme to handle these items.
Obviously not practical for city centre businesses, but if you are fortunate to work somewhere a bit leafier, then why not introduce a large compost bin for outside? Any raw food waste can be placed in smaller compost bins in the kitchen areas that can be emptied daily on a rota basis. Once your outside compost bin is full and the contents ready, you can use it on flowerbeds to help create a pleasant outdoor environment for everyone to enjoy.
Cut down on single use items
How many of your colleagues buy a takeaway coffee during the working week? Currently only 16% of those who buy a coffee do so with a re-useable cup. That’s 84% of us still using takeaway cups, which often cannot be recycled. Instead, why not invest in a good quality coffee machine for the office, treating the team to freshly brewed coffee in their own mug? Encourage staff to bring their own water bottles and avoid selling single use plastic bottles from vending machines to cut down on plastic usage at work.
Recycle old IT & Hard Drives
All electronic items, mobile phones and screens and electrical goods that have come to the end of their life, must be disposed of responsibly. The hard drives may contain sensitive data so must be wiped and then securely shredded. All batteries in laptops and mobile phones must also be removed prior to disposal and as they are hazardous must be treated accordingly. The most efficient and compliant way of disposing of IT and hard drives is to call in a professional company to securely shred and recycle the components.
Crisp packets & other unusual items
Designate an eco-leader to handle the items that must be sent off separately to the regular glass, plastic and paper recycling. Items such as crisp packets, tetra-paks, sweet wrappers and ballpoint pens can be recycled but have to be sent to your nearest Terracycle location.