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Common Recyclables in the Workplace

Recycling has gained unprecedented popularity around the world, but we still have a long way to go in terms of attaining a 100-percent recycling rate.

The workplace is often overlooked in the greater discussion of recycling, even though the average Australian adult spends about a third of their daily lives in a work-related environment. But employees are often eager to recycle with as little urging as strategically-placed signs.

Therefore, substantial progress won’t be made in total recycling if we don’t invest substantial energy and resources into recycling at the office, including these seven most common workplace recyclables:

1. Paper

Perhaps the most important recyclable, paper accounts for between 25 and 40 percent of all municipal solid waste.

Recycling more paper is bound to go a long way in terms of conserving natural resources, saving energy and less municipal solid waste in our landfills.

The workplace accounts for a large portion of paper usage in Australia. Businesses are also encouraged to purchase only recycled paper.

2. Plastic

Australian businesses use a lot of PET plastic bottles. According to estimates, two-thirds of all PET plastic bottles end up in landfills across the country.

Making plastic out of already-recycled products uses about two-thirds less energy than creating new plastic from scratch.

Plastic products such as PET bottles for beverages are the easiest to recycle due to their popularity. Recycling plastic in the workplace is sure to go a long way in terms of preserving our environment.

3. Glass

Recycled glass generates 20 percent less air pollution compared to its counterparts. Therefore, recycling glass is essential in the workplace.

Glass is a high usage material that can be easily recycled in the place of work. Businesses should understand that recycling glass isn’t just good for the environment; it also saves money.

Recycling a single container of glass saves enough energy to power a 100-watt bulb for about four hours.


4. Aluminium

The great thing about aluminium cans is that they are 100-percent recyclable, the perfect candidates to help inculcate a recycling culture in the workplace.

Aluminium is the perfect recyclable material; it can be recycled over and over again for as many times as we want. Plus, many businesses consume a lot of canned beverages like soda and juice.

Recycling these cans at your workplace can be your own way of giving back the little you took from nature.

5. Cardboard

If there is one product that we absolutely need to recycle in the workplace, it should be cardboard.

An estimated 90 percent of all old corrugated cardboard (OCC) used is consumed in the commercial sector. If it’s not recycled in the workplace, cardboard won’t be recycled at all.

6. Steel

Steel is widely used in the place of work. One of the most notable steel product in corporate Australia is steel cans, and they are similar to aluminium cans in the sense that they are easily recyclable and can be recycled multiple times..

Contrary to popular belief, steel can be recycled multiple times without compromising its quality.

7. Computers

Most businesses in Australia use computers; it’s hard to find one that doesn’t. Computers can be recycled in a number of ways.

A fairly decent workplace computer can be donated to NGOs, friends and even family members, ensuring it at least temporarily avoids the “waste system.”

Non-working computers can be sent off to recycling centres, where they are dismantled. Any valuable parts and materials are then recovered so they can serve a new purpose.

Image via Pixabay CC0 License

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