Recycling is an economical and cost effective way of dealing with office waste, and it is often cheaper than general waste disposal. Recycling isn’t just a good way of saving money, but it helps the environment! Since the 1960s the amount of rubbish we create has gone up by 500%, meaning that the average UK household produces around a tonne of waste per year. What’s more, the kind of rubbish we now produce is much more difficult to break down compared to fifty years ago.

Ash and pottery have been replaced by glossy paper and glass, while plastic disposal has increased more than tenfold. The ‘waste not, want not’ attitude of the post-war years has been replaced by a prevalence of packaged goods and a throwaway culture.

But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. Over the past few years the amount of household waste we recycle has been rising to between 0.5-1% per year, leading to it reaching 45% in 2015. 60% of household waste can be recycled – that’s around 100 stone, so think of that next time you stand on the scales!!

Did you know?

  • Recycled tin can save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours
  • Up to 60% of waste that ends up in landfill could have been recycled
  • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it were made from raw materials
  • It takes 24 trees to make 1 tonne of paper
  • Biodegradable waste in a landfill produces methane, and this is 23 times as potent as carbon dioxide

How to encourage staff to recycle throughout their day:

Clear communications are very important to ensure that people use the recycling bins and put the correct items in them. Tell them why you are starting to recycle – for example, why it will save money and what the environmental benefits will be.

Here are some tips –

  • Encourage senior management to get involved: their input is important and it is beneficial for messages to come from them
  • Information about the recycling services can be shared at team meetings, and using posters around the office can be used as good reminders
  • Speak to cleaning staff to ensure that they recycle correctly
  • Remove individual ‘under desk’ bins and install single waste and recycling points. This increases the amount of material recycled by removing the temptation for people to ‘easily’ throw away. It is important that this is clearly communicated in advance. You are likely to see some initial resistance, but people will soon get used to the new system.

It’s 2016, and if you haven’t already put a recycling policy in place – you really should! Western Industrial Products has a range of recycling products that can help you on your way to a greener business! Have a look at their recycling bins, labels, battery bins and recycling rucksacks.

Article compiled by: Laura Pay-Savage