Clean and Green Businesses: Recycling in the Workplace

Each year, Australian businesses are responsible for sending an enormous amount of waste into landfills, and much of it can be recovered and recycled.

Posted on November 30, 2022

Recycling isn't just good for the environment - it's good for business. Recycling will reduce waste disposal costs, enhance your reputation, and benefit the community.

Here are some fun facts about recycling that you may not know:

  • Each year 1 billion trees are chopped down to make paper. Also, nearly 32,000 litres of water are used to produce one ton of paper.
  • In 2018-19, Australians threw away more than 2.5 million tons of plastic, with businesses responsible for more than half of that.
  • Plastic bottles can be recycled to make all sorts of things, from plastic bottles to outdoor furniture, activewear, sleeping bags, reusable shopping bags, and more.
  • Over 95% of the materials in mobile phones can be recovered and used to make new products. Recycling old mobile phones reduces the demand for natural resources and diverts them from going into landfills. Almost all waste from commercial offices can be recycled. The typical bin in a commercial office consists of 76% paper and cardboard, 12% food waste and 6% glass and plastic. All of which can be recycled.

Recycling Made Easy

If you're interested in reducing your business's impact on the environment, we can help. Adding a structured corporate waste management and recycling program to your Zippy cleaning services package is an investment worth making.

You might be surprised by how much you can recycle, and with the right system and support in place, you'll be a recycling rockstar in no time! We can help with co-mingled recycling, organic waste and even confidential shredding, among other waste management services.

At Zippy, we're committed to reducing our environmental impact, and recycling is essential to that. We believe that we're in a unique position to help other businesses recycle more, contributing to our goal of reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfills.

We work with businesses from a wide range of industries to manage their recycling, and we have learned a lot over the years. We are happy to share our knowledge to help you create the best recycling program for your business.

As part of our waste management and recycling program, you will receive comprehensive reports about your business's waste and recycling. This will help you to monitor your progress and improve your recycling program as you progress.

Recycling System Essentials

Know your waste

The first step to workplace recycling is understanding what type of waste your business produces. We can help you get to grips with your waste without going through your bins. With our extensive experience, we can make some very sound predictions about your business's waste.

Keep decorations simple

It wouldn’t be Christmas without decorations! Hanging decorations is a great way to bring a festive feel to the office and lift everyone’s spirits. But no one likes cleaning up the mess come January, do they?

Keep decorations simple and limit items that leave a mess behind. Tinsel, glitter and fake snow are the worst offenders when it comes to Christmas decoration mess. Instead, opt for colourful baubles, wreaths, Santa hats, and even balloons. Why not try some flower arrangements or potted poinsettias to add a splash of bright red and green throughout the office? Then, when it comes time to close the office for the break, give them to your team to take home and enjoy.

Get the right bins

When it comes to recycling, you will need at least two bins (general waste and recycling), or ideally three (mixed recyclables, organics/paper and general waste). Put them next to each other, somewhere that they can be easily accessed by everyone. Zippy can arrange delivery of easy-to-use colour coded bins.

Organise a workplace engagement session

Don't let your recycling efforts go to waste! Make sure everyone knows how the recycling program works. Our team will support you with full training and mentorship along the way. We'll also provide you with reports about your waste and recycling so you can see how you are improving.

Buy it back

Complete the recycling loop by ensuring you buy recycled products wherever possible. Think office paper, stationery, refillable coffee capsules and even office furniture.

Zippy Tips for a Successful Workplace Recycling Program

Adelaide waste management recycling office

Lead by example

Make sure you practice what you preach and set the right example. Then, when others see you making a difference by recycling, they are more likely to follow your lead.

Provide education

While you may understand the importance of recycling, others may not. Be sure to have information available that explains the impact of recycling, whether it be interesting stats on posters in strategic places (back of the toilet door) or more detailed information on the company intranet. Tip: you can download free resources from the Planet Ark website.

Make it easy

When you set up your workplace recycling program, make sure it is easy to understand and follow. Provide clear signage and place collection containers where the waste is generated. For example, if you recycle printer cartridges, place the bin next to the printer with a sign that says 'recycle used printer cartridges here'.

Buy in bulk

Take an inventory of the different types of plastic packaging your workplace uses. Are there opportunities to buy some of the products in bulk and reduce the amount of packaging you use?

Give back to the community

In South Australia, a 10c refund is offered for certain containers through the container deposit scheme. Some organisations like to put this money towards a staff party or donate it to a charity. It's a great incentive to get your team recycling.

Remove bins from under desks

Doing away with desk bins has been proven to increase recycling rates and reduce plastic bin liner use. When the University of Queensland implemented this change, their recycling rate tripled! It also encourages staff to take regular breaks from their desks which is good for their well-being and productivity.

Recycling special items

Go the extra mile by setting up collections for special items that can still be recycled but need to be taken to a drop-off location, like batteries, soft plastics, or computers and accessories.

Every business has a role to play in protecting our environment. If you want to make a positive change in your business, talk to Zippy about including waste management and recycling in your regular cleaning services.