OFFICE RECYCLING: How Does it Help?
Here are some office waste fun facts for you: the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year. That’s the equivalent of a 100-foot Douglas fir tree per person per work year. Of those 10,000 sheets, 45% of them wind up in a trash bin at the end of the working day. In the U.S. alone, companies spend upwards of $120 billion a year on printed forms, and most of these forms have to be renewed and reprinted every three months. And if the world were to suddenly suffer some catastrophic paper loss, more than 70% of today’s businesses would fall.
Suffice to say, we’re on our way to a real paper problem. Yes; digital media and soft copies such as PDFs, word documents, Google Docs, and etcetera are all proving to be excellent solutions to an otherwise disastrous resource plummet, but it’s a long-term solution. It’s a prevention strategy – not a cure – and right now (regardless of how the old adage goes) the corporate world needs a band-aid. Enter solid waste segregation and office recycling bins.
THE THREE R’S IN THE OFFICE
We all know the precious eco-friendly trinity: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Whoever came up with that campaign slogan did an excellent job of cementing in our psyche our basic environmental duties. Over time, more catchphrases have been added to an ever-growing list of eco-propaganda battle cries. “Live simply so that others may simply live,” ranks right up there with “Give a hoot, don’t pollute,” and “Show you care; do your share.” Environmental awareness has boomed, and with it the call for every sector – whether residential, commercial, or governmental – to do their part in the global movement to go green.
Some businesses are now switching over to digital media for communication and circulation – effectively fulfilling the ‘reduce’ part of the statement. Instead of passing around company memos on print paper, they simply bulk send email templates to everyone on the company mailing list. Meeting presentations are done on PowerPoint instead of placards, posters, and cue cards. Anyone who needs a copy is sent the program file. Employee handbooks, guidelines, and FAQ’s now take the form of PDFs (Portable Document Format) that can be transferred from computers to be read on tablets and phones. It’s just like having a physical hard copy minus the twenty or so sheets of paper.
Major cities are now also encouraging corporations and business buildings to implement waste segregation into their disposal systems. Green cans for biodegradable or recyclable material, others for general solid waste (think broken paperclips, figurines, folder fasteners, and other hard plastic accessories). Segregation may not be in the Sacred Three, but it’s a huge step in helping the last two items (reuse and recycle) along.
There are a ton of benefits to recycling. As mentioned above, the average corporation can spend billions of dollars on paper and printing per year. Bulk buying or ordering PCW (Post-Consumer Waste) recycled copy paper through cooperative contract can greatly reduce paper costs and printing. There is little to virtually no distinguishable difference in terms of quality and durability in recycled paper and virgin paper fresh out of the mill. Simply put, switching to recycled does not affect your company’s communication system, announcement circulation, or production in any way, but it will change your yearly budget and carbon footprint.
We can’t even begin to cover the environmental benefits to recycling, but we’ll try.
Buying recycled papers creates a steady demand for this sector. The higher the demand, the more financial funding recycling centers get. This effectively reduces the price for recycled paper even more. Recycled papers also require less bleaching, processing, and refining than virgin papers, reducing the use of toxic chemicals, hazardous compounds, and contaminated substances.
Encouraging recycling through the purchase and use of recycled products builds a solid foundation for a self-sustaining, long-lasting production process that can save millions of trees, fossil fuels, and land space in the long run. The statistics don’t lie; every single household or office that makes the conscious choice to reduce and segregate for reuse and recycling contributes to the overall impact that could prove massive over time.
So when you choose to actively participate in segregation and recycling, how do the statistics change? Let’s start small. For every 100 sheets of standard A4 paper or copy paper, 70 to 80 percent comes back as usable, saleable product. That means you get at least 70 sheets of paper back from the original 100. If you choose to throw those papers away in a landfill or have them incinerated, you get zero.
In 2010, 63.5% of paper used in the United States was recovered purely through recycling. For ever ton of paper recycled, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space is saved. To put that in perspective, the bed of a standard pickup truck can hold 2 cubic yards. A recent estimate has shown that recycling, reusing, and composting facilities create six to ten times as many jobs as waste incineration compounds and landfills.
Long story short, implementing the waste disposal hierarchy – reduce, reuse, and recycle – can dramatically change statistics in just a matter of years. All it really takes to start is conscious commitment and maybe some new office recycling bins, and you’re well on your way to a cleaner, greener future. For more information on waste management, or to speak to our team, please visit our home page – https://www.saskipbinsadelaide.com.au/ or give us a call