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8 waste management tips for the workplace

15 December 2016

When it comes to waste reduction, the menace must be tackled wherever one is. This includes the home and the office as well. In corporate settings, waste usually comes in the form of paper. There are several ways to carry out waste management as follows:

  • Reduce the Use of Paper – One of the ways to do this is to use the “print on both sides” feature on your computer. Ensure that this is the default setting. Additionally, try to fit more words per page by changing the margins to 0.75 instead of 1.25. 
  • Minimise Lunch Waste – In order to achieve this, you can consider carrying a packed lunch so that you use a lunchbox that is re-usable. You should also consider eating in vs. ordering out.  
  • Audit Waste – The idea here is to make sure you know just what it is that gets thrown away so that you can have an idea where you need to cut back on. The motto should be reduce, reuse and recycle.  
  • Electronic Newsletters – Instead of circulating paper newsletters, consider sending out electronic newsletters. Let your clients know that you will be saving trees by doing so. You will definitely be contributing to waste reduction and the environment will thank you for it.
  • Participate on the Interchange – Here, you are able to exchange materials that you may not want or that you may have in excess for other things that you do need. You will find a wide variety of materials here, some that may be at no cost, while others will be available for a small fee. Either way, you will be recycling some of the things you no longer use including old computers and other electronics.
  • Donate – If you have old office supplies and old furniture, you should consider donating them. Non-profit organisations would benefit as well as cooperatives that would make use of craft supplies, binders, stationary, electronics and more.
  • Recycling Together with Other Businesses – One of the best ways to reduce waste at work is by sharing equipment with other businesses close to you. If you have recyclables, you can sell them off as one. It may be possible to work together to host a recycling event for e-waste (discarded electronic appliances) as well.
  • Engage Communities, Customers and Employees – If you are to successfully manage waste, you will need to cast the vision and ensure the buy in of your team. This means that you may have to carry out some training, take suggestions from your employees, customers and the community at large and then involve them in creating incentives for waste reduction. You should also consider providing water bottles and mugs that are reusable. Your social media page and signage at the office should share information on your efforts. Where possible, have a take-back program and implement store recycling.

Yours may not be a waste management company per se, but you can still provide plenty of help in this area. In truth, every company and individual needs to be part of saving the environment and managing waste, and if you can get the message to your employees, you may have a greater impact than you may have set out to have. As they learn, they will spread the information on recycling and management waste to their family members, friends and more.

Written by Erich Lawson on behalf of Northern California Compactors, Inc