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Creative Ways to Recycle and Re-use in the Office

Businesses are the biggest culprits for producing unnecessary waste and commonly disposing of items that are not only recyclable, but also easily reusable. By finding creative ways to recycle and reuse in your office, you can save waste, and in most cases save money as well.

 

Office Supplies:
If you stop and think about it, office supplies can be reused over and over again. Create a stationery closet or cabinet that allows employees to drop off supplies and shop for used supplies like file folders, binders, paper clips, rubber bands, pens and pencils. If you keep new office supplies under lock and key, or under the supervision of an office manager, your employees will be more resourceful in reusing what they have on hand.

 

Shipping Supplies:
Reusing boxes from incoming packages is common practice. In addition, you can reuse the Styrofoam pellets and packing paper. If you don’t have any of that left over, shred old paper and use it as packing material. Create a central shipping and receiving area that houses these reclaimed items to make it easier for your employees reuse.

 

File Folders:
Most of the file folders that are discarded still have some life left in them. You can give them a new purpose by placing adhesive labels over old file names and labels.

 

Cardboard:
You can use the cardboard from the back of notepads for tasks like stiffening envelopes with sensitive or delicate documents.

 

Paper:
Only 50 percent of all the paper in North America gets recycled. Businesses are among the biggest culprits for paper wasting. Make it easy for employees to recycle paper by providing lots of recycling bins throughout the workplace. It is important to put recycling bins in non-office spaces like the warehouse or break room where people often have paper or paper products.

 

Ink and Toner Cartridges:
Almost half of ink and toner cartridges don’t get recycled. Recycled cartridges are refurbished and manufactured for resale, each one saving over two pounds of metal and plastic form landfills, in addition to saving about half a gallon of oil which is consumed in the manufacturing process. Your local office supplies store likely has an ink and toner cartridge recycling program, and they may even provide free recycling boxes for your office to make it easier for employees to recycle them.

 

Cell Phones:
Cell Phone recycling programs are on the rise. Some will actually pay you for your old phones. Others involve shipping the phone to a recycling center (in many cases the cost of shipping is covered by providing online shipping labels) or dropping phones off at a central drop off point in a store.

 

Office Furniture:
When it is time to downsize, move or just reconfigure your workspace, remember that most office furniture can be recycled. Amazingly, remanufacturing just 40 cubicles will divert one tractor trailer load of furniture from a landfill. Look to companies like New Life Office, who will buy back your office furniture, clean it up and add new components as needed, and resale as refurbished product.