How to sort your waste and recycling at work
Waste sorting is an effective measure that is easy to introduce and sustain in any business. Everyone benefits from waste sorting. Not only can batteries and other hazardous waste be disposed of safely, but waste streaming provides numerous environmental benefits by saving energy and resources at the point of manufacture. As such, it will help your business reduce its environmental footprint. With clear labeling and different receptacles, it’s not difficult for employees to dispose of waste correctly in order to do the right thing for the environment. Here are our tips on what you can do to improve waste sorting and recycling in your workplace.
Start by sorting out the most dangerous materials
A good tip is to start with the waste that causes the most damage: the environmentally- and health- hazardous waste. Some products contain substances that are toxic, explosive or flammable, and consequently harmful to both humans and the environment. Used batteries, low energy lamps, fluorescent lights, computers and other electrical waste are examples of waste that should be separated and taken to a specialist recycling centre. Place the hazardous waste in suitable containers while waiting for disposal / collection.
Make it easy around the workplace
The more we recycle, the better it is for the environment. So make it easy for everyone by placing recycling bins in convenient spots around the workplace. In offices, it is a good idea to have a bin for recycling paper under each desk and near any printers. In a warehouse or factory, waste collection points should be strategically located close to the places where waste materials are generated. When it comes to the number of waste containers, the more the merrier! That will increase the likelihood of each item ending up in the right place.
Where you expect several different types of waste to be produced, make sure your system is simple to understand. Use clear labels and/or different coloured containers so that it is quick and easy to put rubbish in the right place. This is particularly important in the kitchen and canteen: separating plastic, glass and metal packaging from other waste is simple and has a big impact. Have separate receptacles for food waste (which will turn into compost) and non-recyclables. A well organised system with clearly marked containers all in one place is no more difficult than just throwing rubbish in the bin and will quickly become second nature.
Put residual waste in compostable bags
Any residual, non-recyclable waste will still need to be collected as usual but over time a successful waste sorting system will see this type of waste become a smaller and smaller part of your output. In the meantime, we recommend compostable refuse sacks.
Use tipping skips for bulky waste
When it comes to waste sorting on a larger scale (of heavier materials, construction waste, etc.), tipping skips are an excellent choice. These robust containers are designed for heavy-duty handling of up to 3000 L of waste and for use with forklift trucks. As with recycling bins, they are available in several different colours to facilitate waste separation. Add lids, castors and labels to make it easy to do the right thing, even with the heaviest and roughest waste.