If your workplace is like ours, you go through a lot of waste. That means, between lunches, office supplies and old electronics, you’re sending a lot of garbage to already over-burdened landfills.
Meanwhile, at home, many of us have made changes. We’re becoming waste-conscious, recycling and composting, even adopting zero- and low-waste lifestyles.
How can that translate to the office? Through more conscious day-to-day choices, you can easily reduce your office’s environmental impact. Here’s a guide to get you there.
Have any ancient PCs collecting dust at your office? Don’t throw them in the dumpster! Already, 140,000 tonnes of electronic waste ends up in Canadian landfills every year. These items contain valuable materials that can be re-used to create new products. But they can be tricky to dispose of.
Luckily, there are businesses out there to help you bridge the gap. These differ across provinces and territories. For example, in Ontario, Best Buy accepts things like old computers, TVs, phones and batteries. You can also opt for a service through the Electronic Products Recycling Association, like Recycle my Electronics.
Toner and ink
Here, many local suppliers have you covered. Check to see if you can return your cartridges where you buy them.
Paper and Cardboard
Cardboard and paper can be recycled four-to-five times without loss of quality or strength. Still, it’s important to recycle each of them properly.
Cardboard is naturally biodegradable so, if you have your own compost at the office, this can be shredded and tossed in. Otherwise, for non-soiled cardboard, recycling is your best bet. Break down boxes and large pieces, and tie them together into a tight bundle when you leave them at the curb.
The recycling bin is your best destination for most paper. Even sticky notes, which you may have wondered about, are usually recyclable. Local recycling plants are able to remove the adhesive. But, stop before you throw away that soiled napkin! Keep reading for tips on proper disposal of food waste.
Most paper in the office will be bound for the recycling bin, but soiled paper is a different story. Greasy paper plates and used napkins can be composted along with most food items.