I remember once, I got an email from a optician, who wrote “Help- they even put cans in the trash, where I work- what can I do?” I have to admit that’s pretty bad. Cans are the top recycled item, and it’s pretty easy to recycle because every recycling program takes cans. The Top 2 Keys to recycling in an office is to have 1.) readily available recycle cans 2.) Staff knowledge and committment.
Did You Know?
- Recycling creates 36 jobs per 10,000 tons of material recycled compared to 6 jobs for every 10,000 tons brought to traditional disposal facilities.
- Approximately 1 Billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the US
- An Aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
- Plastic bags and plastic garbage in the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
- A modern glass bottle would take 4,000 years or more to decompose and even longer if it’s in a landfills.
- Between 5 and 15% of what we throw away contain hazardous substances.
- Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
Cost of Trash:
- $30.00 per ton to recycle
- $50.00 per ton to send to landfill
- $75.00 per ton to incinerate.
6 Keys to Successful Recycling in the Office
- Call your local recycling center and find out what you can recycle
- Inform Staff about what can be recycled and get commitment.
- Keep Bins in each Room for easy recycling including reception area.
- Make a priority list of what to recycle first. Paper, cans, glass, plastic, toners and inks are a good start.
- Label clearly what can be recycled or even have a bin for each item to be recycled.
- If your office building does not recycle, work out a recycling schedule
Where to go to recycle-
- www.earth911.org – just plug in your zip code and will give you a full listing of where to recycle in your areas
Likely Places to Recycle:
- Staples: Takes- Ink, Toners, Cartridges
- Radio Shack- Takes back Batteries
- Home Depot- Takes CFL lightbulbs
- Good Will- Takes Back- Old Computers
As a last thought, Here is a quick breakdown on the Plastic Codes. These are the codes written on the bottom of plastic containers. It may be a good idea to memorize the below written codes for future purchases as well.
#1,2,4,5: Safe and Recyclable.
#3,6, 7: Avoid, these plastic carry toxins, although they may be recyclable through your waste management
The best suggestion on recycling, make it a point to use less!