Office Waste Reduction Tips

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Helping to conserve valuable natural resources and reduce the amount of trash you send to our over-burdened landfills is easier than you think when you practice the three R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) at your office.

Reduce

  • Use double-sided printing/printers
  • Set document defaults to smaller fonts and margins
  • Use computer fax modems / e-Fax
  • Email or use a bulletin board to minimize individual memo copies
  • Replace paper documents with email messages and discourage printing
  • Design marketing materials with no envelopes
  • Use electronic billing
  • Request vendors to reduce packaging when possible
  • Eliminate polystyrene/Styrofoam containers
  • Encourage reusable containers for lunches
  • Provide supplies and food in bulk rather than individually packaged goods
  • Provide reusable flatware in the break room
  • Use natural cleaning products and washable towels instead of hazardous chemicals and paper towels
  • Eliminate plastic bottles by providing a water filtration system to refill water bottles

Reuse

  • Reuse scratch paper for printing drafts and memos
  • Encourage reuse of disposable bags and purchase of reusable bags
  • Use wadded paper for shipping
  • Reuse packaging materials
  • Use refillable and recyclable markers and writing implements
  • Recycle or reuse carpeting
  • Recycle pallets in business recycling dumpsters or arrange for collection
  • Reuse or donate used furniture
  • Reuse, donate, or recycle electronics

Recycle

  • Provide recycling and composting containers
  • Recycle all glass, paper, plastics and cardboard
  • Recycle used printer cartridges or use refillable cartridges
  • Recycle CDs and DVDs
  • Recycle batteries or use rechargeable batteries
  • Buy recycled content goods

And let's not forget the fourth "R"...

Rot

  • Leave grass clippings on mowed turf (grasscycle)
  • Compost food scraps
  • Compost or recycle landscape debris and trimmings

For more about City Environmental Programs for businesses, visit our business homepage or email questions to GoGreen@toaks.org.