Office Waste Recycling: Waste Control And Our Efficient Solutions

Office Waste Recycling: Waste Control And Our Efficient Solutions

In Recycling, Waste Management by David FahrionLeave a Comment

As businesses scale greater heights, the sheer volume of waste generated within office spaces is astonishing. It also comes with a significant financial burden. Consider this: the average office worker produces a staggering 1.5 pounds of waste every single day. 

When extrapolated across the vast corporate landscape, these numbers translate into a substantial expense for companies, which is often hidden beneath the surface. There are enough regulatory concerns too which makes dealing with waste properly a pressing concern. 

Beyond the immediate costs and regulatory challenges, there’s also the pressing concern of what happens to this waste once it’s disposed of. Much of it ends up in landfills, further exacerbating the environmental challenges we face today. Understanding the economic and ecological implications of office waste is crucial, and taking proactive steps toward recycling can both alleviate the financial strain and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Why Is Office Waste Recycling a No-Brainer?

Taking a peek at some of the common items found in office waste tells us one thing- It’s criminal to not recycle office waste. 

  • Paper and cardboard: Common in nearly every office, paper and paper products like cardboard and paper boards are highly recyclable and can be turned into new paper products.
  • Plastics: Items like plastic bottles, containers, and packaging materials are recyclable, with proper sorting and disposal practices.
  • Electronics: Outdated or broken electronic devices, such as computers, monitors, and printers, can be recycled to recover valuable materials and prevent electronic waste from polluting landfills.
  • Ink and Toner Cartridges: These can be recycled or refilled, reducing the environmental impact of ink and toner production.
  • Office Furniture: When no longer needed, office furniture can be donated, resold, or recycled to extend its lifespan and reduce waste. 
  • Food and organic waste: Food and organic waste can always be used for composting which can be used for energy production or as manure. 

There may be other items that form the waste stream but these constitute the majority of items. Looking at it tells us that none of these items need to end up in landfills. 

The question now is all about how to do it and how to ensure that the recycling program works efficiently. That’s what we are going to talk about next. At Waste Control, we approach office waste management with a recycling-first approach, which helps us cut costs and help clients be more environmentally conscious.

Setting Up Your Office Waste Recycling Program

Let us now look at a step-by-step process that we at Waste Control always recommend to our clients.

Gain Management Support and Commitment

Establishing a successful office recycling program begins with securing support and commitment from top management. Nothing works without the commitment of the whole organization. It’s imperative to communicate the benefits of recycling, including cost savings, environmental responsibility, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Conduct a Comprehensive Waste Audit

To kickstart the process, conduct a comprehensive waste audit. This audit helps you understand the types and quantities of waste generated in your office, enabling you to identify recyclable materials and areas for improvement. We at Waste Control always recommend a comprehensive waste audit to begin the process to get to know what we are dealing with. 

Waste audits don’t just tell you what type of waste is being generated. It also helps in determining if there are ways to cut out some forms of waste altogether or if it can be reused elsewhere. 

Engage Your Employees

Employee engagement is a cornerstone of any successful recycling program. Educate and involve employees in the recycling effort by creating awareness about the importance of recycling and providing training on sorting and disposal practices. Consider establishing a recycling team or designating responsible individuals to oversee the program’s day-to-day operations.

Invest in Infrastructure and Resources

Invest in the necessary infrastructure, such as recycling bins, collection containers, and signage. Ensure that recycling stations are conveniently located throughout the office for easy access.

Find the Right Partners

Finding the right partners for your recycling program is critical. You need waste management service providers or recycling services that can help you with your program. Right partners help you control your costs and ensure that the program is actually doing what it is meant to do. 

One of the best things to do is find a waste management service provider like Waste Control Inc who can take care of the whole process end-to-end.

Develop Clear Recycling Guidelines and Policies

Develop clear recycling guidelines and policies for employees to follow. Make sure these guidelines are easily accessible and regularly communicated to maintain consistency in recycling practices.

Monitor and Measure Progress

Once your program is up and running, implement a system for tracking and measuring recycling progress. Regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the program’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

Continuous Improvement

Remember that continuous improvement is vital to the long-term success of your recycling program. Regularly review and update the program to adapt to changing needs and seize opportunities for enhancement. 

Office Waste Recycling Best Practices

Here are some best practices we have seen around that can have a real impact on your office waste management, 

  • Label Bins Clearly with Color Coding:

Clear labeling and color coding of bins are crucial for effective waste segregation. Different colors can be assigned to different types of waste – for example, blue for paper, green for compostable waste, and red for plastics. This visual system simplifies the recycling process for employees, reducing the likelihood of contamination in recycling streams. Clear signage on what goes in each bin can also be included to further guide correct disposal.

  • Promote Paperless Practices:

Encouraging a shift towards digital documentation reduces the need for paper, significantly cutting down on paper waste. This can be achieved by implementing digital filing systems, encouraging digital correspondence, and using electronic signatures. Transitioning to paperless meetings by using digital presentations or shared screens can also contribute significantly to this effort.

  • Reduce Single-Use Items:

Minimizing the use of single-use items like plastic cutlery, cups, and plates in the office is an effective way to reduce waste. Instead, provide reusable alternatives such as metal cutlery, ceramic dishes, and glasses. Encouraging employees to bring their own reusable items like water bottles and coffee cups can further aid in this endeavor.

  • Organize E-Waste Recycling:

Electronic waste (e-waste) like old computers, printers, and phones should be properly recycled. Currently, less than 20% of e-waste is recycled. There is a lot that can be done for e-waste management.  Setting up a dedicated e-waste recycling program ensures these items are disposed of responsibly. This involves partnering with certified e-waste recyclers who can properly handle and recover valuable materials from these electronics.

  • Set Up a Composting System for Food Scraps:

Implementing a composting system for organic waste such as food scraps and biodegradable materials can greatly reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills. This compost can be used in office gardens or donated to local community gardens, contributing to a circular economy and sustainable practices.

  • Establish a “Waste Reduction Challenge”:

Creating a fun and engaging “Waste Reduction Challenge” can motivate employees to think creatively about reducing waste. This can involve setting goals for waste reduction, rewarding departments that achieve the most significant cuts in waste generation, or recognizing innovative ideas for waste minimization.

  • Create a Designated “Reuse Station”:

A “Reuse Station” in the office allows employees to leave and take unwanted office supplies or equipment. This can include items like binders, folders, and even electronics that are still functional but no longer needed by the original user. Such a station promotes a culture of reuse, reducing the need for new resources and minimizing waste.

Let’s remember that people want to do their part to be more sustainable. It is the job of the organizations to guide them and help them reduce waste and be more environmentally conscious. 

Haulers v/s Waste Management Services

When considering office waste management, businesses often weigh the options between traditional waste haulers and integrated waste management firms. Traditional waste haulers typically offer basic services of collecting and disposing of waste, which might suffice for organizations with minimal or straightforward waste management needs.

However, they usually don’t provide extensive sorting or recycling services. On the other hand, integrated waste management firms offer a comprehensive approach. These firms not only handle the collection and disposal of waste but also offer services like recycling, composting, and even waste audit consultations. This holistic approach not only aligns better with sustainability goals but can also be more cost-effective in the long run.

Why Partnering with Waste Control may be a Great Idea

One of the things that we commonly hear is that it all sounds complex! It isn’t really. But we understand what people mean. It does take some time to set everything up and get it up to speed. It can also be painful dealing with multiple vendors at once and ensuring that everything is going smoothly.

This is where experts like Waste Control come in. We help you come up with a solid plan and execute it with your help until you meet your goals. We do the heavy lifting of finding the necessary vendors, training the employees and other stakeholders, as well as helping you manage costs by combining all payments into one single invoice. 


Office waste recycling is a no-brainer. Most of the waste materials that make up the waste stream are recyclable and can help reduce your overall waste management costs. 

Commitment and buy-in from the whole organization is really the key to success here. It is not just important to put a recycling program in place. It also needs to be something that people are serious about and commit to. There lies the real key to the success of the program.