Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
We strongly recommend viewing Cleanzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Starting an office recycling programme... becoming a worm wrangler
Although an estimated 80% - 90% of solid waste generated in American offices is recyclable, the US Environmental Protection Agency believes most US office locations can implement far more effective recycling initiatives to help reduce their carbon footprint and save money.
Because of this, CFR, which manufactures continuous recycling carpet extractors, is beginning a series of office recycling tips to help facilities managers expand their office recycling programmes.
"The first step involves simply surveying the trash," says Doug Berjer, product manager for CFR. "Determine what is going in the trash and what can be recycled. Ask your trash collecting company what they will and will not recycle."
From here, Doug's 'Getting Started' recycling tips include the following:
* Make it a top-down decision: The most effective recycling programmes are those that are deemed necessary by top management; staffers tend to respond more strongly when the message is coming from the CEO.
* Appoint a recycling coordinator: Select one person to be in charge of the recycling programme; this person not only overseas the programme, but also champions sustainability in general and recycling in particular.
* Start small: Initially, suggesting 20 different things to recycle might be overwhelming for office personnel; start with a few things and build from there.
* Build on the 'no-brainers': The recycling 'no-brainers' are paper, soft drinks bottles and cans. Estimates are office workers go through three beverage containers a day. From here, add ink cartridges, glass, packaging materials, old computers, light bulbs, and other electronics.
* Recycle water: Not only are consumables recyclable, but so are natural resources such as water. Place containers on roofs or around the facility to gather rainwater to water office plants.
"Some offices even have staffers that are 'worm wranglers'," says Doug. "They have containers housing worms that eat office food scraps - coffee grounds, banana peels, and so on. As it passes through the worm's body it forms compost...turning waste into the life-giving ingredients to grow new life." Growing worms for recycling purposes is called vermicomposting.
23rd February 2012