Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Reducing Waste While we Relocate!

As March rolls on, the Green Achiever scheme will be moving house! Whilst we are all very excited about this, there is one big problem which has made us pause: waste. From old archives to worn out stationary, there is certainly a fair amount of rubbish that we could just throw away.

But that's not really what we're about...if you hadn't already guessed. So, here's a few ways in which we have tried to streamline our office supplies by recycling the bits and bobs we just don't need.

1. Files
These are as numerous as they are annoying. Recycling the paper inside is relatively easy - it can be printed on if one sided, or taken to the paper recycling bank  - but the files...different story. Deb suggested that we see if other offices could make use of them or they could also be put on Freecycle or Ebay. However if you're feeling experimental, you could try this! >>>

2. Filled notebooks, magazines and brochures
As mentioned before, this is mostly paper and so can be easily recycled at our local bring bank. Mandy has also been taking shredded paper home to use as bedding for various livestock! Any coloured paper or magazines may be donated to a local school or college for their art department to use in collages and paper mache etc It may seem like an odd thing to do, but it's actually very useful.

3. Broken keyboards and dead mice.
It's such a shame when these break because they aren't obvious items to recycle at a standard recycling bank and have to be disposed of correctly to comply with WEEE regulations. But, for the more artistic among us, it has been suggested that the keys be prized off and used as name tags. Or, and this appeals to a mostly female office, make the keys into a handbag! However, more simply, the keyboard wire can be cut off (strangulation hazard) and it makes a surprisingly intriguing toy for kids. For the mice, someone on suggested filling it with wax and using it as a paperweight! Who knew?

4. Homeless Office Furniture
There are many collection schemes out there dedicated to collecting and recycling broken or redundant office furniture (I just Googled 'recycle office furniture' and plenty of services popped up) but in the stress of moving office, it won't be the first thing on your mind. However, as a former student, I would recommend asking around friends and family to see if any college-age kids need a desk and chair. Even if the chair is a little broken, the same restrictive 'Health and Safety' laws don't apply at home so a perfectly good chair can be put to use. Old wooden desks could also make great firewood for those with log burners.

5. Pens
Now for a bit of fun.
Even though it is tempting to just toss a dry Biro into the bin, please send your pens to 'The Pen Man'! Check out the 'Mercedes Pens' and his blog.

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