Having successfully achieved the diversion of 90% of waste from landfill or incineration since February 202, Method Recycling is well placed to offer its top tips on how to achieve a zero waste office.

Around the world small and large organisations are committing to a zero waste office, such as Microsoft’s pledge to be zero waste by 2030. For the purposes of this article, we will use the most common definition of a zero waste office which is the diversion of 90% of waste from landfill or incineration.

It feels pertinent also to mention that one of the best ways to increase your diversion from landfill is to increase your recycling rates. However, we operate under the three R’s reduce - reuse - and then recycle.

Method Recycling began really focusing on office waste in July 2019 and we’ve been over 90% diversion on average since around February 2020. I will acknowledge now that as an organisation that sells recycling bins we have a few advantages, but still have plenty of unbiased advice to help your organisation on their journey. So here are our top tips for how to achieve a zero waste office.

Practice careful procurement Everything that comes into your office has to come out of it again so make sure that you’re purchasing reusable or recyclable items and packaging; even better items that include recycled materials already. Often there are more sustainable options out there, it just takes a little research.

Ask suppliers to be more sustainable Where you’re locked into a supplier or there are limited alternatives the best thing we can do is ask. This lets them know it’s a priority to their customers and makes them more likely to change.

Recently, we swapped coffee providers, and we asked if they’d be willing to use reusable containers for our weekly deliveries - and they said yes. This is two foil/plastic bags a week, and almost 100 a year that we’ll save from landfill and is pretty easy to set up.

44 | TOMORROW’S FM Use reusable or refillable options

where ever possible This is a trend that is coming back around, from printer cartridges to milk to pens there are more options for circular delivery services. They may feel like very small changes but they quickly add up to a significant impact.

Setup recycling stations with a

number of streams In our office we have seven main recycling ‘streams’ that we collect; general waste, organics, plastic and cans, glass, paper, confidential paper and soft plastics. In addition to this we put aside our e-waste and small metal bottle lids for a local sustainability not-for-profit that collects them.

Our bins are in a central location, a 10 second walk from any of the desks, this means that people are being conscious when they throw items away, alternatively with desk bins they can throw everything into one bin mindlessly.

Organics is often overlooked but is one of the biggest factors for success in our office. Collecting food waste, coffee grinds and compostable packaging it’s our heaviest stream. Not to mention that organics in landfill creates methane emissions, a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than CO2.

Have clear signage on your bins This has become a non-negotiable with the increasing reliance on contamination fees to keep recycling clean and well separated.

We hope you’ve had some ideas to reduce waste in your office. If you’re looking to implement a new recycling system, we’d love to hear from you. From bins to custom signage, we’re confident we’ve got a solution to meet your needs, so get in touch.

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