Managing and Reducing Waste in Office Buildings


Offices, schools, restaurants, stores, and hotels generate a ton of waste every single day. The impact this has on the environment cannot be measured in numbers. We feel it during the stifling heat of summer and the freezing cold of winter. It’s in the air we breathe. It’s contaminated and filled with disease-causing organisms. The more we deny our roles in saving the environment and reducing waste, the more likely that we’re causing natural resources to deplete.

What a perfect world would it be if companies could adopt environmentally friendly measures. Offices should invest in plastic compactors or balers to use for the reduction of plastic waste. Although more and more businesses are going green, some are still lagging. How about your office? Have you adopted measures that will reduce the waste you produce and manage the waste that can’t be reduced?


Use both sides of the paper. Reuse cartons, boxes, and containers. Bring recyclable materials to a recycling center. The point is to reuse and recycle as many materials as you can. Your printer? Reuse the cartridge and get a refill. Your pens? Get a refill, too. Why waste the pen’s casing if you can refill it with ink? Don’t throw away documents. Shred them if they’re confidential and use them as packing material. For non-confidential documents, use them as notepads and scratch pads.


Buy materials in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging used for them. Ask your suppliers if you can return the packaging to them so that they can use it for their next deliveries. Hopefully, their next clients will do the same. Try as much as you can to reduce using non-recyclables in the office.


at a business meeting

Going paperless should be a practical solution that every business adopts, and yet, there are plenty of companies that still refuse to forego printed copies of bills, documents, and data. Store office digitally. If the documents need to be printed, share it among yourselves. You don’t have to print for every office or personnel. You should also print on both sides of the paper or use recycled paper. Go paperless for your bills. Use the cloud to store digital files, except for personnel information. Print on demand.


Ask your employees to take public transportation if they can. Encourage them to bike or walk to work. Provide incentives for employees who agree to walk, bike, or take public transportation such as buses and trains. You can also create a carpool program so that it will save them time and money. 

You should also provide the option to work from home or telecommute. For meetings, do teleconferencing. Use technology to reduce the need to travel to and from work. You will save a lot of resources and reduce the carbon dioxide emission released in the environment.

You can do so much more in the office to reduce your dependency on materials made from the earth’s natural resources. Why deplete such resources if you can use technology to store data, for example? Make it a corporate policy to reduce and manage waste. You don’t know what this single act can do for the environment.

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