Recycling at work can be challenging. If you’re like many people we speak with, it’s not easy to remember the ‘paper recycling’ container at the other end of your office, if there is one at all. Aside from paper, there are a number of other materials that your business can likely recycle more, check out the list and let us know if you agree below!
Businesses go through paper like it’s going out of style. The average office worker uses nearly 10,000 sheets of paper every year. With paper covering as much as 40% of the municipal solid waste stream, offices have a huge opportunity to benefit the environment by recycling their paper. Almost 50% of paper was recovered in 2014 although, according to the EPA, 24 million tons of paper still ended up in landfill. A lot of times, paper recycling bins are not offered to employees but trash cans are, so the paper winds up in the trash. We recommend a desk-side recycling container. It will increase recycling and recover a lot of the paper that is send to landfill.
Cardboard is very versatile and used across all industries. Sometimes it's assumed that recycling cardboard is expensive, but it actually has the potential to save your company money on its waste services! When you break down your cardboard, you are not paying for the space the air occupies. It also decreases the number of needed pickups because more cardboard can fit in each load. Like paper, it's also important to keep your cardboard separate from your other recyclables so they remain clean and valuable!
Most people forget that ink cartridges are recyclable. Each time you recycle an ink cartridge, it saves more than two pounds of metal and plastic from landfill and saves about half a gallon of oil. Your local supplies store will probably have a box to recycle your cartridges or they will provide your office with a collection box. Some stores will even offer a reward when you bring in your ink and toner cartridges!
In 2014, only 41.7% of electronics were recycled. With the constant advances in technology, your business is probably always upgrading to the newest device. Even though you no longer need your electronics, chances are they could be useful to someone else. Give them a second life by trading them in or donating them to your local community. Stores like Best Buy, Target and Walmart will offer buy-back programs which can earn your company money!
It’s imperative to properly dispose your batteries because they contain toxic metals. Recycling batteries conserves valuable materials such as plastic and metal. Find out how RoadRunner can help you recycle your batteries here.
Of the 33.3 million tons of plastic accounted for in 2014, only 3.17 tons were recycled. It's best to make sure your plastic is clean, rinsed and numbered. When the plastic is kept clean, it ensures it is recyclable! But remember, your thin plastic bags are not recyclable. Try using a reusable bag instead!
It's common to forget that bathroom products are recyclable. You can recycle your toilet paper rolls with your cardboard and your offices cleaning products may be recyclable too! Always read the label for proper recycling instructions or reach out to your building supervisor or janitor with any questions.
Still have questions? Don’t let your recycling questions go unanswered. One of our recycling experts will be happy to help you with your questions or assist you with implementing a recycling program in your office!