It call comes down to the 4 Rs – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. For those office items that you can’t avoid or reuse, then it’s time to reduce and recycle.

Here are a few simple ideas to help reduce waste at your workplace:

  • Implement a recycling program for office paper.
  • Collect paper that has been printed on one side to use as scrap paper, being aware of confidentiality issues if materials contain private information.
  • Print documents double-sided: set the print default on all computers to double-sided, so you don’t have to remember each time.
  • Consider conducting a waste audit.

Why do a waste audit?

A waste audit is a report that details the type and quantity of waste generated at a particular site over a specified time. For example, an office might do an audit of lunchroom waste over a five-day period, or paper waste produced on each floor of a building.

An audit a great way to learn about the waste habits, needs and specifics of your workplace. It is a good first step that will give you a snapshot of waste generation and provide a baseline against subsequent progress can be measured. It is also a critical piece of research that will help in developing a waste reduction plan.

An audit will tell you where waste is being produced and how much is being produced. Information about the type of waste will help in identifying strategies for re-using, recycling, composting or otherwise diverting materials from the business waste stream.

Tools for Business Waste Reduction