Office recycling and waste management: Are you doing it right?

According to a study by the paperless project, office workers use over 10,000 sheets of paper per year each on average. What’s even more astonishing is that 45% of this paper goes straight to the garbage bin. In a day and age where more and more customers and employees are looking to preserve the environment and limit the amount of waste generated, it would be wise for every office to have a solid waste management and recycling plan in place. Here is how any business can accomplish just that.

Start with a team

Getting a good recycling plan on wheels can be difficult if everybody isn’t involved. Recruit people from every department and form a recycling team that will be in charge of ensuring that your recycling and waste management policy is respected across the board.

Calculate how much waste is generated by your business

One of the easiest ways to calculate how much waste is generated by your business is by doing a visual audit. The way visual audits work is simple. All you have to do is gather the total amount of recyclable materials that is wasted over a 3 day period. Then, you can weigh the total waste and make an estimate of how much waste is generated in a week.

Identify what needs to be collected and how

Before you enact your plan, you should consult with your waste management company and ask them what materials they will collect and the procedures you have to follow on your hand. For instance, depending on the locality, you will be required to either separate your waste at the source of you will be able to send all your recyclables together. Companies such as Countrystyle Recycling also offer services like bulk haulage and wood recycling, while others don’t. This information will be essential when setting up your container bins.

Determine where containers will be placed

It’s important to determine which areas are the most frequented and which ones generate the most waste. You will also have to choose places where bins will be easily accessible for all employees.

Use the proper equipment

If you have the means for it, it would be better to invest in garbage bins with separations for each type of waste. Also, it would be nice if you opted for bins that allow you to use separations as you please and vary the size of each container inside the bin.

Make sure that each compartment is clearly identified with graphics if possible. Graphics will reduce the chance of diversion and will ensure that recyclable waste isn’t contaminated.

Implement your program

Now is the time to make your recycling program public. For your plan to be successful, everyone in the company should be aware of where garbage bins are situated and what protocols should be followed as far as waste management goes. Make sure that each member of your designated recycling team informs everyone in their respective department and make sure that container bins are clearly marked with posters and signs explaining the proper set of procedures to take and the company’s objectives.


Installing a proper recycling and waste management plan doesn’t have to be difficult. All you have to do is set a team, be aware of your waste management needs, identify high waste areas and place properly marked bins where it is most needed. Also, make sure that everybody is well aware of the company’s objectives and works in unison to reduce the total amount of waste generated.