Reduce Waste - Office Recycling

National Recycling Week is upon us! Held every year during the second week of November (7th to 13th November 2022), this year’s theme is:

Waste isn’t waste until you waste it.

But what does that mean?

Planet Ark, the organisers of National Recycling Week, says that this year’s theme wants to encourage our community to consider how we use resources that we already have by giving them a second life to reduce the need for buying and using newly produced resources.

This is especially important when we consider that Australia generates approximately 76 million tonnes of waste a year. And out of that, almost 84%, or 63.8 million tonnes of waste, is generated by commercial businesses and industries.

How Does Your Business Look?

Is your business producing as much, or more, or less, waste today as it did two years ago? Reducing and recycling waste will not only save your business money on costly waste hauling but it will also demonstrate industry leadership and contribute to corporate social responsibility by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the global hazards to human health caused by our waste streams.

Over our years of experience with rubbish removal and commercial cleaning, we have developed ways to encourage our clients to reduce waste here at Star Property Management. Here are six tips to help your business reduce waste production.

Reduce Waste Today!

1. Compost

Organic waste is typically the heaviest portion of the waste stream, and due to its weight, is one of the costliest to remove.  In the U.S., through a strong composting program, the Seattle Mariners saved $114,000 in waste removal fees at Safeco Field in 2013. Plates, forks, cups and napkins at the stadium are all either compostable or recyclable, and the stadium boasts a waste diversion rate of over 90%.

Composting is another great option, especially for buildings with beautiful gardens and landscapes. Having your own composting program will keep your building’s greenery vibrant and healthy whilst reducing your waste. Otherwise, there are many composting programs that will remove your waste and turn it into nutrient-rich compost.

2. Audit your facility

Take a look around your facility and evaluate the supply chain of items that become waste. What consumables do you stock? Can you switch to recyclable or compostable products? How are waste bins placed? By keeping your recycling and composting bins more convenient to reach, your staff and visitors will be more likely to use those than traditional rubbish bins.

Many Australian corporations now include the Australasian Recycling Label on their packages. Place signage around waste disposal areas to encourage your staff and visitors to follow their instructions.

Evaluate how full the compactors, dumpsters and recycling containers are prior to pick-up. Facilities that increase their recycling rates often can decrease the frequency of pick-ups, thus saving additional money.

3. Reduce packaging

The NSW Government has now banned businesses and community organisations from supplying single-use plastics. And for good reason! One-third of waste in developed countries comes from packaging alone.

Evaluate the packaging used in your business. Can you eliminate single-use containers? A simple switch from corrugated cardboard to reusable plastic shipping containers saved Pepsi-Cola $44 million. Are there similar alternatives for you?

4. Eliminate bottled water

Ditch the bottles in favour of filters and glasses. Bottled water costs 2,000 times more than tap water and it regularly loses taste tests to tap water.

Provide glasses or reusable bottles, and a filter in your company’s break room. They will pay for themselves.

5. Go paperless

Technology offers cheaper and better alternatives to using paper.

CBRE recently went paperless at its downtown Los Angeles world headquarters. The office purged over 5 million sheets of paper, saving money on the space required for storage, and reducing ongoing printing needs by 50%.

Along with other strategies, going paperless has helped the company save 30% over a 10-year period on the LA office as compared to a traditional one.

6. Collect e-waste every day

Electronic waste is highly hazardous. In Guiyu, China, the city with the largest e-waste disposal site in the world, 80 percent of children suffer from respiratory ailments.

Offer a bin where employees can put e-waste from both home and from work. Make sure that your e-waste vendor is actually recycling, as many sell the waste to overseas entities that do not follow through with recycling. Work with a vendor that is third-party certified through R2 Solutions or E-Stewards.

Sustainability has to be a way of life to be a way of business.

Anand Mahindra

Over the past several years, our society as a whole has become much more conscious of the environment. As Australia’s waste challenges continue to grow, we all need to Step Up and support solutions which will move us towards a circular economy of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – where everything is a resource, and there is no such thing as waste.