Greenroom

5 Office Recyclables That May Surprise You



Recycling Awareness SymposiumWhen talking about recycling of office supplies, everyone thinks of paper and plastics as the most common recyclables.

Documents, waste paper, stiff cardboard boxes used for wrapping sandwiches and other food, are only a few items on the long list of office recyclables. If we add to the list plastic bottles and wrapping, we get the usual contents of an average recycling bin in an office. But have you ever thought of adding more to the list?

Here are some of common office items you should consider recycling.

1. Mobile Phones

With the ever growing demand to always be up-to-date and get the newest model of a particular mobile phone, old ones are left in our back drawers at home, only to be looked at as memories of something old and obsolete.

Set up a phone recycling bin at work and ask your employees and coworkers to bring their old mobile phones. This way, you can contribute to reducing e-waste which has become one of the growing problems in the modern world. Apart from this, there are big recycling initiatives you can take part in that encourage people to donate or recycle their old phones. Autism NZ has teamed up with the mobile phone recycler Swapkit NZ in their joint project of swapping old phones for new technology.

2. Eyeglasses

When you get a new pair of eyeglasses, you never even take a look at your old ones, let alone use them. But, as a matter of fact, they can be reused. Lions Club International collects old eyeglasses, which are tested, packaged and sent for distribution to those with poor eyesight in the Pacific Islands.

Why not set up an eyeglasses box, and ask staff members to donate their old eyeglasses? Before you know it, the eyeglasses will be on their way to Fiji, Samoa or Tonga, where they will be used by those who need them and might not be able to afford them.

3. Broken And Damaged Gadgets

Have you or anyone you know ever accidentally dropped your mobile phone in the water or spilled hot coffee over it? Probably yes.

At work, employees use different gadgets, such as desk phones or calculators, that they can accidentally drop, crush or destroy by spilling drinks over them. Most of them cannot be used again so you may as well get rid of them by placing them in a special recycle bin for office gadgetry.

4. Umbrellas And Rainwear

How many times have you seen your colleagues tossing their broken umbrellas in the rubbish at work after a windstorm? Most people still don’t know about umbrella and rainwear recycling. The same goes for rain coats, and any waterproof clothing made of polyester.

So, rather than throwing away valuable recycling material, simply place a box for collecting broken umbrellas and torn rainwear and hand it over to your local recycling company. You may need to contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out which companies take them.

5. Packing Peanuts

These are not your edible peanuts, but polystyrene packing peanuts that come with new electronics goods. Made of polystyrene, it can take them hundreds of years to decompose. Scary, right? This is what you can do with them instead after you have collected them in a box that you had set up in your office:

  • Ask companies to take them back
  • Donate them to shipping companies
  • Send them to a recycling centre
  • Give them to a nearby school or community centre for crafting projects
  • Put them in the bottom of a planter as they will allow your plants to drain properly

Creating and implementing a comprehensive recycling program is an important step towards a greener workplace.

If you add to your recycling habits other simple steps such as using floor mats made from recycled materials and continuous cloth towel for hand drying, you can rest assured that you’re doing your best to help protect the environment.

Recycle – Go Green!

Recycling is one of the best ways for you to have a positive impact on the environment. Alsco offers a range of solutions to help you make your workplace a green environment, such as Ecosafe Washers, Evolution Mats and Continuous Towels. Our Ecosafe Washers use water-based solutions with the power of cleaning greasy and dirty places within seconds. The revolutionary Evolution Mats are made from recycled eco-friendly materials, and our Cloth Towel offers significant environmental benefits, since it represents an environmentally safer option than paper.

Want to make a difference in protecting the world we live in? We at Alsco are there to help you.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Images by Montgomery Cty Division of Solid Waste Services
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