Office Paper Recycling
|Most of our office waste paper is not waste. It is estimated that more than 70% of office waste is recyclable paper: letters, copy paper, computer paper, colored paper, newspaper and cardboard. An effective office paper recycling program is good for the environment and insures compliance with the law.This section provides useful information to help businesses and organizations develop an effective paper recycling program.
Experience with recycling programs in many types of businesses has shown that employee participation continues at 90%.
When paper is made from old paper, up to 70% less energy is used than if paper is made from virgin wood fiber. Recycling one ton of paper could save the energy equivalent of 380 gallons of oil and substitutes for three tons of virgin wood fiber.
By recycling, we can reduce the amount of trees cut for paper production. One ton of waste paper can substitute for about three tons of virgin wood fiber in the making of new paper.
When we recycle, we reduce the amount of waste going to disposal sites.
Almost all paper can be recycled, but most office programs focus on the high-grades (white and computer). That’s because these grades have stable markets, are generated in larger quantities and command a higher price.
Low-grade papers are in less demand, so dealers pay less (sometimes nothing) for them. Stable markets exist for colored paper, newspaper and cardboard.
Office buildings with 20,000 square feet or more of office space are required by law to recycle office paper (white, colored, computer) newspaper and cardboard.
The 4-step Office Paper Recycling Program, as illustrated, makes it easy.
4-Step Recycling Program
|1. Desk-top Collection — Employees separate recyclable paper into desk-top folders.|
|2. Central Collection Stations — Employees empty full folders into centralized drop-off containers.|
|3. Transportation to Main Storage Area — Custodial staff collects paper from centralized drop-off containers|
|4. Waste Paper Dealer — Recyclable paper is taken by a waste hauler or recycler.|
(Please be sure to put only paper that can be recycled into the containers. The wrong type of paper can contaminate and ruin an entire batch of recyclable paper)
You Can Recycle:
High-grade white paper, including:
- typing paper
- copier paper
- “blue” prints with black ink
Computer paper, including:
- all white
- green-and-white bar
Low-grade colored paper, including:
- yellow legal paper
- multi-copy forms (carbonless)
- manila and colored folders
You Cannot Recycle:
Thermal fax paper
Binders: glued, metal, spiral
Magazines / glossy paper
Blueprints with blue ink
Gummed labels, adhesives, tape
Paper bags, plates, cups
Tissues, paper towels, napkins
Rubber bands, paper clips