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At work—what can we do?

Reduce waste at work

Placing a plastic bottle in an office recycling bin

©iStockphoto.com

Help reduce the impact of your business activity on the environment by dealing thoughtfully with the waste you produce at work.

  • Promote recycling at work by setting up or requesting recycling bins for organic (kitchen) waste, glass, paper, plastics, e‑waste including batteries and phones.
  • Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy re-manufactured ones. They're generally less expensive and better for the environment
  • Encourage your workplace to buy recycled paper products. See the Victorian Government's Save paper (PDF 207KB) fact sheet for more information.
  • Order from the large range of recycled and eco-friendlier stationery—like envelopes, ring binders, notebooks and more. Go for reusable clips instead of staples.
  • Re-use and recycle e-waste by giving old technology to someone who needs it, or to schools and charitable organisations. For items that no longer work, you can look for take-back schemes from electronic manufacturers or local recycling schemes.
  • Where possible buy less and order any supplies in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
  • Avoid plastic shopping bags by keeping a stash of re-usable ones in office drawers and common areas.
  • Swap or recycle items you're no longer using at home at work. Create a spot for a 'freebies table' in a common area and list items to swap or sell on your electronic or regular noticeboard.
  • If you're really serious about managing waste, work with management to encourage them to work with your waste service provider to establish the best recycling system. You could also look at creating purchasing guidelines to promote the use of more efficient and sustainable products that use less energy and packaging.
  • Check if your office has recycling bins for printer cartridges, batteries, cardboard, paper, organic or mixed (for plastic, cans, glass, etc) waste. If not, you might need to help your workplace improve its recycling routine.

Check with your local council or Planet Ark's Business Recycling website to find out what can be recycled in your area.

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