When it comes to recycling — whether at home or in the office — most people assume that recyclable materials are relatively limited. They know that they can recycle old newspapers, glass bottles, and aluminum cans, but they put most other items in the trash. In reality, when you contact a specialized commercial recycling company, you can greatly expand the number of items you can recycle. Going the extra mile to recycle will protect the environment and lower your carbon footprint. Here are some additional recyclable materials found in many work areas
1. Computer Equipment
Computers and other electronic products contain a wide variety of materials that can be reused to manufacture new items. Sending this equipment to a specialized recycling facility will allow the individual materials to be separated and broken down so they can be reused. Just be sure to remove all files from your computer before you recycle it!
It doesn’t matter whether you have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or smaller AA or AAA batteries — these items can and should be recycled. Batteries contain a high concentration of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. When these items are simply thrown away as part of the regular trash, they end up in a landfill, where they will corrode and deteriorate, releasing these harmful materials into the soil. Recycling batteries will prevent pollution of soil and groundwater.
Like batteries, old paint contains harmful chemicals that can cause significant harm to the environment. Most paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which form ozone and smog when their vapours are released into the air. Paint can also harm soil and groundwater. Paint recovery programs allow unwanted paint to be used by someone who wants it. Alternatively, many paint products can be used as raw material to create new paint.
Old furniture may have become an office eyesore, but this doesn’t mean it needs to be sent to the dump. If furniture is in good condition, donating it to a charitable organization can help it find a new home. Even damaged furniture can be reused, with the wood, metal, and fibres being reused for other products. Recycling refrigeration appliances is even more important, as these products contain helocarbons, which can release harmful gases into the atmosphere. Recycling will ensure that the gases are safely extracted and disposed of.
You can do more to recycle than you would expect! By using your available resources to recycle these and other items, you can reduce your workplace’s impact on the environment without complicating your waste disposal needs.