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Going Green at the Office Part Two: How to Recycle


Author: Gabrielle Jones

One of the easiest ways to maintain Green office space is to recycle. Almost every office has recycling bins for paper, plastic, metal and glass. Every day you try to sort the various items you discard into their respective bins, but do you really know how to recycle?  Here are few often overlooked do’s and don’ts to help you through the process.Paper

Paper items you may not realize can be recycled include: shredded paper, phone books, manila envelopes, hanging file folders, sticky notes, and chipboard/paperboard (like a cereal box). However, plastic coated papers, food/candy wrappers, and wax coated cups, should not be recycled. Remember to remove all staples, clips and tape before recycling.

Plastic, Metal, and Glass

Check the number on the bottom of your plastic containers; only items numbered 1-7 are eligible to be recycled. All aluminum cans and any color glass bottle can be recycled, but plastic bags, food/candy wrappers, and Styrofoam cannot. Make sure all containers are empty, clean, and have no food residue.


Most offices do not have a bin for cardboard, but offer pick-up for boxes left in a certain area. Check with your office manager or maintenance staff for detailed pick-up places and times. Recycle corrugated and un-corrugated, large chipboard, and paper boxes. Don’t recycle packing materials, boxes covered in tape, wax-coated boxes, or boxes that been soiled by food waste (e.g. pizza boxes).

Recycling is easy if you know what to do. Just remember, nothing soiled should be recycled, and don’t be too embarrassed to double check with maintenance before tossing items into the bin. Also, there are some great resources online that spell out recycling tips in a simple and fun way.  Go for it and go Green!

Topics: Green Offices

Written by Trey Jones

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