5 Ways to Reduce Office Waste

Posted on: 13 April 2016


There are many reasons why you may want to reduce your office's waste production. Perhaps you want to be able to claim that you are following green methods, or maybe you want to reduce your waste and recycling bills. Whatever your reasons, consider implementing the following tips to reduce your office waste. 

Make It Visible 

One effective way to reduce your office waste is to make your waste visible. Office managers have a tendency to hide waste. Trashcans are located under sinks, in closets, or otherwise out of the way, and they are emptied before they are completely filled. However, if you make your office waste more visible, it can make your employees recognize how much waste they create and encourage them to take steps to reduce their waste. 

Making waste visible can be simple. Move trash cans into the open. For instance, have your break room trash can in the break room near a table or counter as opposed to beneath the sink. Then, only empty the trash when the trash receptacle is full and place a small sign on a dry-erase board noting the last time the trash can was emptied. You may also track the amount of trash your office has created for the current week or month on a central dry-erase board or through a weekly email memo. 

Purchase with Waste in Mind 

In the United States, about one-third of the amount of waste that is thrown out is packaging material. If your office manager purchases office supplies with a lot of packing material or wrappers, then they are setting up your office to produce a large amount of waste. Create a list of suppliers that have green packaging and shipping methods and office items that have little or no extra packaging waste. Also, consider buying in bulk when possible. Purchasing 100 pens in a single box creates less waste than purchasing 20 packs of five pens. 

Consider Local Suppliers

If you can find a local supplier for some or most of your supplies, you can reduce packaging material by picking up your supplies locally. Some local suppliers may even deliver supplies to you and then reuse their packaging materials several times before recycling them, reducing your overall waste impact. 

However, beware of local suppliers who do not produce their items locally. You may still be contributing to a large amount of waste that is simply in their office as opposed to yours. Instead, check with your local suppliers to make sure they are following waste reducing practices as well. 

Educate Employees

Most American children learn the basics and importance of recycling and waste reduction while they are in school. However, if waste reduction is not practiced on a daily basis its importance can fade over time. For that reason, you may want to re-educate your employees on the importance of waste reduction and the specific steps that your office will be taking to reduce your waste. 

To make your in-office education more engaging, you can set up a guest speaker from your local college or university or from a waste-management company in your area to discuss the specifics of office waste in greater detail with your employees. 

Create Incentives

Sometimes your employees may need an extra push to get into the habit of reducing their waste. To do this, you can create a waste-reduction incentive for your office. For example, measure the amount of waste your office currently produces and set a goal for how much you would like to reduce your waste by. Each month that you reach your goal, reward your employees with a small bonus, a happy hour, or a casual work day. 

For further ideas and recycling options, contact a waste management service like B-P Trucking Inc.