By Claire Bell
As workers and workplaces return to business as usual, many are thinking about creating a new normal, one that is kinder to the environment as well as balancing the budget in a fragile economy.
Reducing business waste and increasing recycling services is one way to become more sustainable and often saves money by reducing the quantity of material sent to landfill. Implementing more visible recycling facilities in the office is also a great way to engage and educate colleagues.
Ten years of Business Recycling
In 2010, Planet Ark launched the Business Recycling website with the purpose to create a national online recycling and waste disposal directory, the website hosts Australia-wide listings of re-use and recycling collection, drop-off locations and services in one easy to access site.
Australian businesses generate 20.4Mt of waste per annum compared to the 13.8Mt generated by households. The website provides a great opportunity to ensure that business managers and owners are equipped with the information they need to divert as many of those resources as possible from landfill and make the best choice when it comes to sustainable resource management.
Ten years on and the website now lists over 10,000 recycling services and over 100 searchable materials. The most popular searches include:
- Electrical equipment – batteries, computers, appliances and mobile phones.
- Clothing & textiles – clothing, leather, textile off-cuts.
- Plastics – rigid plastic, plastic wrap, containers and polystyrene.
- Posters & signage – downloadable signage encouraging the correct behaviour at the recycling bin.
- War on waste toolkit – essential tips and tools that can get your organisation reducing waste and saving money.
Buying it back
Recycling is of course just one part of the sustainable resource story. Businesses who are serious about resource management need to have procurement policies that ensure their purchasing decisions include buying products that are made with recycled content. An easy choice is buying recycled office paper but there is a whole range of recycled products from fencing, recycled asphalt and office furniture to stationery and kitchen supplies. To find out more take a look at the Recycled Products Directory for inspiration.
About the author:
Claire is Planet Ark’s Recycling Campaign Manager. After working in the communications industry and raising a young family, she joined Planet Ark to follow her passion for helping the environment