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Recycling in the Workplace

Recycling in the workplace can save a business money and also make for a happier team. It’s just as important as recycling at home because nearly half the waste generated in the U.S. happens at businesses and other non-residential locations.

Below are just a few of many steps you can take to reduce waste in the workplace:

  • Get involved! Become a member of the Zero Waste Business Council and receive resources and guidance on the quest to becoming a Zero Waste Business.
  • Get educated! Read up on How to Start an Office Recycling Program from Inc. magazine or the Top 20 Tips to Reduce Waste in the Workplace from 
  • Replace disposable cups with reusable mugs and glasses.
    • If an employee has one beverage a day, switching to a reusable mug or glass can save more than 200 cups from being thrown away per person each year.
  • Purchase only 100 percent recycled paper and as many other recycled or green office supplies as possible. Even better, implement policies to reduce overall paper usage.
    • The NRDC’s Green Your Office offers resources for making this happen. 
    • Through simple changes like defaulting to double-sided printing and reusing scrap paper, one EPA office cut paper usage by 30 percent, saving $49,000 a year.
  • Place recycling bins in prominent locations for printer cartridges, batteries and other e-waste.
    • An added benefit is this offers employees an easy way to dispose of these from their homes.
  • Get a TerraCycle® Zero Waste Box for your office supplies, printer cartridges or break room.
    • You can also check out the full range of Zero Waste Boxes to see if your business disposes of any items that TerraCycle recycles.
  • Host a Friday File Fling.
    • Have office workers purge file boxes and folders to recycle unneeded documents.
    • In Australia, one day each November is dedicated to file flinging, but you may choose to host your event any time of the year. How fun is that?!
  • Use prompt cards to encourage positive behavior in the workplace.
  • Cut down on employee miles with these tips on How to Make a Trip-Reduction Program Successful.
  • If you want to go beyond recycling to achieve a green and sustainable workplace, you can receive national and local government incentives.

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