According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, each person generated around 4.9 pounds of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018. From the total MSW generated, 32.1 percent or about 94 million were recycled or composted.
This gives anyone a hopeful outlook on recycling and hopefully encourages them to continue to recycle. However, there is always room to improve recycling efforts for commercial establishments.
Benefits of Proper Office Waste Management
- It can help save money.
Yes, that’s right. Consider increasing and improving recycling in the office, as this can help improve the business’s bottom line.
- It enhances the office’s sustainability.
Sustainability is a favorite buzzword in the industry at the moment. However, more than being a buzzword, being a sustainable business can help boost the office’s image. It can also help improve employee engagement and attract quality clients.
- It can guide the management in decision-making.
Waste management is an essential aspect of any office. A proper understanding of the type and the amount of waste the company produces are a key matter. Familiarity with these kinds of information will help the management negotiate for waste and recycling services. It can also help them tailor the services to the company’s needs.
- It can help save the office’s resources.
When a company is actively recycling its waste, it will lead to the reduction of use of natural sources. So, they’re basically saving trees and avoiding too much use of metals and water.
5 Common Office Waste You Can Recycle
1. Paper and cardboard
According to a study in 2018, paper and cardboard materials make up most of MSW. The upside is that almost 68% of Americans recycle their paper waste.
Recycling paper is relatively common because most recycling programs accept paper and cardboard products. As such, it’s best to think first before throwing away any paper materials in the office.
In fact, it will be best to think twice before printing a document in the first place. With the advent of tablets, e-readers, and smartphones, most can access documents digitally.
But it is understandable if an office has tons of paper or cardboard products lying around. Some common paper items that can be recycled include the following:
- Pizza boxes: Just make sure to remove any scraps of food left on the box. It’s best to flatten them before chucking them into the recycling bin.
- Mail: Envelopes with plastic windows are recyclable as well.
- Cardboard boxes and containers: Make sure to also flatten these items before throwing them in the recycling bin.
- Books: These are recyclable. However, it’s best to consider donating them if they’re still in good condition. For hardbound books, remove the hardcover before recycling the pages.
2. Plastic Materials
Recycling plastic will be dependent on the available recycling program in the community. If possible, consider using materials made from recycled plastic.
Below are some of the plastic materials that can be recycled:
- Plastic bottles and caps
- Plastic bags
- Plastic wraps and films
Some people may ask if the following items can be recycled:
- Styrofoam: For items made out of Styrofoam, check out Earth911 to check if there’s a nearby recycling facility which can accept Styrofoam waste.
- Plastic cups and containers: Check with the community’s recycling program if they can accept these items. The general rule is that any item with leftover food cannot be recycled.
- Plastic utensils: These are not recyclable.
The good thing about glass food and beverage containers is that you can recycle them numerous times. You can turn them into new glass containers, as long as they are properly turned over to a recycling facility. Moreover, recycled glass is generally cheaper than new or raw glass.
For glass bottles with metal cap, make sure to remove the metal cap before recycling. Metal caps should be recycled separately.
When it comes to different glass colors or glass types, it’s best to check with the local recycling center. They usually accept when different glass colors or types are mixed together. They can then take care of sorting them out in the facility.
Whatever you do, never put broken glass in the recycling bin. These are not recyclable and can even hurt workers and damage recycling equipment.
You don’t need to crush that aluminum soda can before throwing it into a recycling bin. Some areas only have single-stream recycling, and it will be harder for them to detect crushed cans.
Aluminum foil waste can also be recycled. Just make sure to take out any food scraps before putting them in the recycling bin.
Most batteries can be recycled. However, people should not put lithium-ion, lithium metal, lead-acid, nickel cadmium, and other rechargeable batteries in recycling bins.
There are specific handling instructions to consider when disposing of batteries. Also, check specialty drop-off locations in the area, or better yet, look out for household hazardous waste collection points.
Recycling office waste is a breeze with Prestige Property Services.
We are knowledgeable when it comes to the types of office waste that can be recycled. We have been in the industry for decades, and we have gained the trust of industry-leading companies.
Call us at (714) 224-0301 to discuss the cleaning services fit for your business.