Waste Prevention around the Office

Preventing and reducing waste around the office can help to decrease your organization’s impact on the environment. As the world is becoming more eco-conscious, these factors can separate businesses apart from the competition, and they can attract environmentally savvy employees. Additionally, implementing a business waste management plan can ultimately help your business to save money, as you will be able to recycle and reuse materials. Some important tips for preventing waste in your workplace are outlined below.


In order to reduce your organizational waste, try to eliminate paper files and move toward an electronic system. Set your printers and photocopiers to automatically print double-sided copies, and take steps needed to fight off the amount of junk mail that your organization receives.

Reducing your packaging can also be helpful, and try selecting products from manufacturers and suppliers that utilize minimal packaging. If possible, reuse any packing materials that you are sent so that you can utilize them when you need to mail something out.


In order to minimize your organizational waste, recycle aluminum cans, paper, plastic, and glass. Start a recycling program where you can recycle papers that do not contain sensitive information. Also, you cannot consider yourself to be recycling if you send your products off to be recycled but you don’t purchase any recycled content products, so you should know where you can purchase certain products that your business needs that are made from recycled materials.


There are a variety of things that you can reuse within your business. Reuse envelopes whenever possible, and if you are part of a large business, try routing around intra-agency envelopes rather than sending out additional mail. Buy recycled paper and toner cartridges, and invest in battery chargers and rechargeable batteries for certain electronic devices.

Recyclable Items You May Not Know About

Many people choose to recycle in their homes, and they commonly recycle items like aluminum cans, plastic, and paper. However, there are a variety of items that can also be recycled, and home and business owners may not know about them. Here is a guide for some of the most important items that can be recycled but often become forgotten. All of these suggestions can easily be applied to commercial recycling as well.


Batteries are recyclable, but in many cases people may choose not to recycle them because they either forget or because it is simply inconvenient. Many curbside recycling programs don’t yet accept batteries, but they can be taken to local retailers, especially electronic stores. If you are unsure of where to take your batteries for recycling, you can check out to get information on area battery recycling programs.

Computers and Other Electronics

Computer parts and the unit in its entirety can be recycled. This includes monitors, old disk drives, and hard drives. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlines where these items can be donated. Other electronics like CD players, MP3 players, and cell phones can also be donated, and the EPA also lists where and how to recycle these types of items.

Wine Corks

Wine corks are easy to recycle, but they are often forgotten. Most non-profit organizations and companies reuse or recycle these corks for a variety of different things, including flooring, new corks, and kid’s crafts. To find a recycling program that accepts corks you can check out sites like reCORK.


Styrofoam is often used as a packaging material, and it takes a long time to break down naturally. While many curbside recycling programs don’t accept Styrofoam, there are some things you can do to environmentally recycle it on your own. You can save it for reuse when you need to ship items, or you can list it as a free item on Craigslist for others that might need it.