How to recycle and manage waste in the office

Tim Brown
Office Manager | ImRubbish
8th January 2014

Want Your Business to Run Well? Tidy Up Your Office For A Start

Running a successful business depends on many things working successfully and together. Having an organized office is one key to running a successful business. But organizing your workspace isn't enough; making sure that excess rubbish isn't cluttering the workspace is also important. Not only is the management of recyclable and non-recyclable waste a way to promote organization, but it improves the work environment as a whole, and can also help you avoid government fines. Below is an outline of the several rubbish bins you should have around your office so that waste management is efficient and the office is clean.

Non-Recyclable Rubbish

Plain waste that cannot be recycled should go in one trash can. This bin can be for anything that the other bins cannot take, and it should act as a kind of "catch-all" bin. It is recommended that you colour code your waste bins so everyone in the office knows which types of waste are associated with each bin. Companies like ImRubbish offer customisable waste cans that can include writing and signs to help others know which rubbish goes in which bin. Again, this is a way to stay organized and keep the office clean.

Recyclable Paper

There are typically two types of recyclable waste. One type is the paper recyclables, which would include office paper, wrappers, and things of that nature. While some people choose to combine their recyclables into one bin, it is beneficial to separate them as you go. The reason for this is that recycling centres have to sort recyclable waste in this manner anyway, and if you plan to take your waste to the centre to receive money, you'll have to sort it before you go. It's much easier and more efficient if you sort it from the outset.

Recyclable Bottles and Cans

Bottles and cans are two more types of recyclable waste, but these can be sorted in the same bin. Essentially, you're looking for glass bottles and aluminium cans when it comes to filling up these bins. Some people choose to use green bins for bottles and cans and blue bins for paper, but it is entirely up to you. If you feel your office would benefit from another colour scheme, you can change it up and customise it to your preferences.

Cigarette Waste

If you have smokers at your office or workplace, it is helpful to have a waste bin particularly for ash and cigarette waste. Not only is it helpful for aesthetic reasons, it's actually very important for safety, as well. In countries across the world, cigarettes cause fatal fires on a daily basis. In the United States, for example, cigarettes were to blame for 35 percent of all fatal fires in 1990. Not only has the number grown since then, but similar figures are repeated worldwide. If cigarettes are placed in bins with flammable material, or even if they end up too close to a bush or a loose piece of wood, they can easily cause a destructive fire. Having a cigarette bin ensures the safety of the building, the employees within the building, and also helps prevent toxins from leaking into the environment.

How Sorting Helps

Waste that accumulates is not only a visual eyesore, but it's smelly and messy. If not properly sorted, the various types of waste can lead to miserable and unsafe working conditions. This can cause poor morale to spread throughout the employees, and can be a damper to the work environment as a whole. While most people are encouraged to deposit waste correctly, adding incentives to your waste management program can help. For instance, use the recycling money you receive to host a monthly potluck or picnic, or spread it among those who participated in the program. The government is committed to reducing office waste, as well, so getting a handle on your company's waste management program is not only beneficial, but may soon become the law.

Using a proactive approach to ensuring a safe, positive, and clean workspace can help increase productivity for your business as a whole. By keeping clearly labelled and colour-coded bins, employees will be encouraged to take part in the waste management program, and the team effort will help to ensure its success. Not only are you helping the office environment, you're helping the planet, as well. In addition, running a successful waste management program can help you avoid fees when government implementations come into play.

About the author

Tim Brown is an office manager at IMRubbish. He enjoys blogging about realistic ways to streamline the office environment.

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