Between printing paper, cardboard boxes, toner cartridges, and food containers made of plastic, tin, or glass, offices have many opportunities to increase their recycling measures. By starting or expanding your recycling program, you can help reduce your company’s carbon footprint and create a greener supply chain.
“Determine what is going in the trash and what can be recycled,” says Doug Berjer, product manager for CFR, a manufacturer of green carpet cleaners. “Ask your trash collecting company what they will and will not recycle.”
From there, Berjer offers the following recycling tips:
- Make it a top-down decision. The most effective recycling programs are those that are deemed necessary by top management.
- Appoint a recycling coordinator. Select one person to be in charge of the recycling program and who will also champion sustainability in general.
- Start small. Initially suggesting 20 things to recycle might be overwhelming for office personnel. Start with a few things and build from there.
- Build on the no-brainers. Start with paper, cardboards, and soda cans. Next add ink cartridges, glass, packaging materials, old computers, light bulbs, and electronics.
- Recycle water. Place containers on roofs or around the facility to gather rainwater to water office plants.
Once these measures are in place, you can even expand to vermicomposting, which uses worms for composting.
“Some offices have containers housing worms that eat food scraps – coffee grounds, banana peels, and so on,” says Berjer. “As it passes through the worm’s body it forms compost, turning waste into the life-giving ingredients to grow new life.”