recycling bin sitting on desk in an office

Does Your Company Have an Office Recycling Program?

April’s Earth Day reminds us of one of the reasons we started 123JUNK: to keep as much out of the local landfills as possible. One of the ways you can do this in your company (other than using us) is to implement an office recycling program.

Tips for Creating an Effective Office Recycling Program

Go Paperless

  • Instead of printing hard copies of documents, get into the habit of saving them to your hard drive. Email documents when possible.
  • Do your banking online and share documents via e-billing and online document sharing software.

Save Resources

  • Save paper by printing two-sided documents when you need a hard copy.
  • Save ink by using a small font on documents. Set the printer for its “draft” ink savings setting.
  • Reuse file folders
  • Use the backs of discarded papers as note pads

Purchase Recycled Materials

There are a number of items composed of recycled content you can purchase for your office use: 

  • Reams of paper (look for 100% post-consumer recycled content)
  • Clipboards in 100% recycled wood (hardboard) or 60% post-consumer recycled plastic
  • Pens & Pencils, some are made from recycled cardboard, wood, newspaper or even old money
  • Dry erase and white boards, with refillable 100% aluminum markers
  • Post-It notes
  • Manilla mailing envelopes
  • Clear tape made from 100% recycled content
  • Recycled paper clips (use paper clips instead of staples)
  • Office furniture and protective floor mats can also be purchased with recycled content

Create Recycling Bins

Business materials that can be recycled, according to the EPA, include plastic, steel, paper, corrugated paper, solid fiber boxes, and industrial paperboard.

  • Set up paper recycling bins near office desk clusters and next to copy machines
  • Create a recycling center in the company’s kitchen or break area for food packaging, metals and acceptable plastics

Train Your Employees

Even though you have an office recycling program in place, are your employees utilizing it? Make it easy for them to participate, and show the benefits of recycling.

  • Educate employees on your office recycling program
  • Create a “green team”
  • Make a list of what types of items can be recycled. If you don’t know whether an item can be recycled, use a “recyclepedia.”
  • Place your recycling bins and signage in prominent locations
  • Group bins and have separate bins for each material type
  • Create a “recyclable” supply room in your office where employees can place items they no longer need or use, and pick up items they need

Hold a Recycling Challenge

  • Create recycling contests with rewards
  • Develop a monthly recycling goal; change the goal each month
  • Offer recognition levels for recycling achievements
  • Have employees participate in or volunteer for an offsite recycling event

Special Considerations

Almost everything in the office can be included in your office recycling program, however many of these items cannot be tossed into your recycling bin. They must be delivered to an e-waste recycling center, or in some cases, returned to the manufacturer.

  • Electronics. Pretty much anything with a cord or a plug, including computers, printers, copiers, tablets, telephones, external hard drives, USB cords, monitors, etc. can be recycled through an e-waste center or donated.
  • Toner cartridges and printer ribbons. Most often, these can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling or refill.
  • Cell phones. When a phone becomes outdated, it still has value. Cell phones can be returned to the manufacturer via a mail-in recycling program or donated to an organization as part of a fund-raising drive. Otherwise, it can go to an e-waste recycling center.
  • Batteries. Batteries contain metals that can be recycled, however, they also contain chemicals that can harm the environment.
  • CDs and DVDs. Since we’re using the cloud most often nowadays for our documents, CDs and DVDs are no longer popular. As they contain #7 polycarbonate plastic, and can release toxic gases if burned, these cannot be tossed in the trash or recycle bin.
  • Fluorescent bulbs. Because they contain mercury, fluorescent bulbs should not be throw into the trash.

Why Recycle?

  • To reduce landfill waste
  • To help the environment
  • To create jobs
  • To save energy, water, trees and other resources
  • To save money in office expenses

Office Recycling Through 123JUNK

Now that you’re collecting all these great office items for recycling, it’s time to contact 123JUNK. We’ll be glad to pick up these items in our big red trucks and deliver them to the appropriate recycling or donation centers. It’s part of our 1-2-3 Donate-Recycle-Dispose process.

And if you have items that can be recycled back into the community, like office desks, chairs or partitions, we’ll pick those up too and donate them on your behalf to our charity partners who resell these items to raise money for their causes like preventing homelessness. We’ll provide you with a receipt for tax purposes. Do this and you’ll not only get rid of items you don’t want, you’ll help both the community and the environment. Add that to your company challenge!

When you’re ready, contact 123JUNK. You’ll love our all-inclusive pricing and our stellar customer experience.