REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!
Many people recycle their waste newspaper, bottles, cans and magazines created within their home. Recycling collection points are readily accessible to everyone at many different locations such as supermarkets, community halls, car parks and schools. It has now become common practice for many people to recycle within their home but not so much at work.
Waste produced at work no matter what they type of business, has the potential to be recycled or reused.
Recycling involves a process that transforms materials into a usable state, this process involves energy costs, however these costs are often lower than the cost required for raw materials to produce a new product. Recycling and reuse of materials does not just relate to paper but to waste products produced in every industry. Materials that may have been treated as waste in the past may now be recycled such as bricks, cement, concrete and blocks. There is potential to recycle all these materials, but there may be an excessive cost involved in selective demolition to remove these materials. Instead of recycling these materials they may be reused as fill onsite. By reusing materials such as concrete as fill, benefits are gained both for the contractor and the environment- the contractor saves money by sending less waste to the landfill and the environment benefits by less waste being sent to the landfill and more materials being reused.
Paper is made from processed wood fibre and other fibre products, the wood fibre used is mainly softwood, grown and harvested to meet ever increasing demands of industries. In the UK 50% of the paper products produced are made from recycled paper waste products! There is a great opportunity to increase this figure especially where packaging, newsprint and tissue paper are concerned. A greater use of recycled paper would have many benefits such as the reduction of pollution created at the pulp mills and a reduction of pressure on landfill sites.
Simple steps to promote recycling, reuse and reduction of waste in your workplace:
- Collect and reuse scrap paper.
- Use scrap paper for rough printing, photocopying and instead of post it notes.
- Photocopy double sided when possible.
- If a paper recycling scheme is implemented in your workplace, participate and encourage others to do so as well.
- Re-use envelopes.
- If there is a can, bottle or any other waste recycling scheme on your site please take part in it.
It is very important to participate in any recycling schemes that are set up within your workplace. The saving of materials such as paper can have enormous cost saving benefits as well as environmental benefits!
Questions to Generate Discussion
- In what way can bricks, concrete, cement and blocks be reused on site?
- What advantages does this have?