In the public sector having a waste and recycling policy in place is de rigueur. The same can be said of ‘big business’; conglomerates, multi-nationals and the like. However, smaller businesses often have no policy in place at all, or if they do, then it is usually regarded as being merely a token gesture and as such it is widely ignored.
As long as you act on them, the benefits of having a waste and recycling policy in place for your office are wide ranging and the actions needed to implement one are relatively straightforward. Even the UK’s best bookies take recycling in the office seriously, so you should too.
Why is it important?
From a commercial perspective, why is this important? Well, if you reduce the amount of waste you are producing then it is obvious that the costs incurred dealing with it will also drop. It can also benefit your public image by tapping into the ever growing environmental awareness your clients have. As well as that, if targets are put in place to recycle certain amounts of specific things, then recycling schemes can help strengthen office teams as everyone becomes united in their quest to hit them.
Many businesses team up with local schools, charities and church groups. They give them things like aluminium cans which those groups then sell on to raise funds. Relationships are formed this way and great PR grows exponentially. This invariably leads to increased business. In short, it shows that you are a socially responsible business that is doing its best for the community and the environment.
What can we do?
The answer to that will vary greatly depending on what sector of the economy your business functions in, but for the average office based business we would suggest getting started by addressing the following points:
- Reduce everyday waste: There are innumerable ways you can go about doing this. One novel way we have repeatedly seen to be effective involves the purchase of an office milk dispenser for the kitchen. As these are chilled and carry gallons of milk at a time there is suddenly no need to purchase 2 litre bottles of milk every day. Over a year, this saves massive amounts of plastic from being used.
- Reduce work waste: Make it clear that printing documents only happens if it’s 100% necessary. You should also inform the Royal Mail that you don’t want your business receiving unaddressed mail as this saves on paper.
- Install recycling bins: Make sure these are clearly labelled and in an area people use all the time. Don’t hide them in a back room and forget about them! Make everyone use them.
- Deal with WEEE: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment must be dealt with by a licensed specialist, so partner with one. They can recycle it with ease.
- Reuse cardboard boxes: This will save you money.
Implement these suggestions in your office recycling policy to improve your work environment.