Recycle Tips at Work

Why adopt recycle tips at work?

Here’s why.

For businesses and organizations to be competitive in the fast-paced world today, efficiency and fast response time are two very important factors at work.

In turn, substantial amounts of resources, including materials and energy, are used to support work processes and systems at many workplaces.

Subsequently, substantial amounts of waste are also created. For example, over 50% of the rubbish in New Zealand’s landfills comes from businesses, including shops, offices and factories.

If no efforts are made to conserve resources at the workplace, and to divert as much waste as possible from the landfills and incinerators, our economic efforts would not be sustainable for long.

As an individual, your green efforts, however small, counts in a big way. Hence, don’t hesitate. Start now! Here are some tips.

Workplace Recycle Tips 1: Start with yourself

Just like recycling at home, the easiest way to start recycling at work is to start with yourself.

As you learn more, and become more comfortable with recycling the things around you, you would be in a better position to pass on your recycle tips to others around you, and to encourage them to adopt the same recycling habits.

In fact, when your colleagues see the joy you experience when you do your bit for the environment, they may be more willing to try it out the recycle tips for themselves.

Take this opportunity to then reinforce in them the importance of recycling and protecting the environment!

Workplace Recycle Tips 2: Knowing what to recycle

One of the important recycle tips for the workplace is information on what to recycle.

Depending on the nature of your workplace, different recyclable items can be found.

Look at the materials that are used in large quantities at your workplace. For example, at many offices, paper is used in the largest quantity.

Also look for high value waste such as aluminum cans and printer toner cartridges.

By just adopting a few simple recycling habits, you can make a big difference.

Here are some items in offices that can be recycled:

  • Waste paper, including printed paper, unwanted files and notes, used envelopes
  • Unwanted magazines and newspapers
  • Unwanted cardboard boxes (eg. packaging boxes for printing paper, office stationary, or even computers)
  • Old computers
  • Printer toner cartridges.
  • Old company cell phones

Other recyclable items can be found at other types of workplaces (beyond the office).

For example, at pubs or drink stalls, used glass or plastic bottles as well as empty aluminum cans are recyclable. In fact, the sale of these recyclables to recyclable collection agencies can help contribute to your company’s profit!

Be aware of the materials that can be recycled and keep a sharp look out for these materials at your workplace.

Even the most unexpected items, including tires at a tire repair shop, can be recycled!

Beyond recycle tips for the workplace

Beyond recycling, there are also other important green practices for the workplace that would contribute substantially to the environment.

Before you even think about recycling, what should come to mind first are reducing waste and reusing whatever you can at the workplace. This is because reducing consumption and waste and reusing contribute the most to a cleaner environment and a healthier earth.

Hence, look out for opportunities at your workplace where usage and waste can be reduced, and items can be reused.

Here are some tips for reducing usage and waste at the workplace:

  • Print only what you need.
  • Print on both sides of the paper, especially the less important documents. This practice helps to reduce paper usage and waste by 50%!
  • Reduce the use of paper by sending information or documents via the email, rather than hard copy files or faxes.
  • Make use of electronic posters and banners, instead of paper ones.
  • Share newspapers and magazines between units and divisions, rather than providing a set for each individual unit.
  • Make use of reusable porcelain or metal mugs for coffee breaks, instead of disposable or Styrofoam ones.
  • If you lunch in, bring your lunch in reusable containers rather than paper or plastic bags that must be discarded after a single use.

Here are some tips for reusing at the workplace:

  • Reuse scrap paper for taking notes.
  • Reuse cardboard or metal boxes for storage purposes at the workplace.
  • Reuse envelopes for internal office mail

Here are some other green tips:

  • Purchase paper products that are made of recycled paper, such as printing paper, note pads, business cards and even paper towels that.
  • Keep a reusable shopping bag at your work station. It would come in handy if you need to do any shopping during lunch break or after work.
  • To save you time, keep a small recycling box handy at your work station. That way, you need only head for the office recycling bins when your recycling box is full.
  • If your workplace does not have any recycling bins, but your home does, take a little effort to bring home these recyclables for recycling. Your little counts in a big way toward a cleaner and healthier environment.
  • Much energy is used to operate offices and other work stations in many organizations. You can do your part to save energy by switching off lights, air-conditioning and your personal computers when they are not in use. Remind those around you to do the same!

Extending recycle tips to your colleagues

It is important to recycle as an individual. But it is not enough. Such green practices need to be adopted by more.

So do share your recycle tips with your colleagues, and encourage everyone at your workplace to play a part in recycling.

Help your colleagues understand the importance of recycling.

And lead by example. Show them that recycling can be easy and without much hassle, just some thoughtfulness. Offer to send the recyclables they have collected for recycling, when you send yours.

After a while, recycling will become a habit, instead of a chore. And we can look forward to having a healthier earth!

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