When it comes to recycling in the environment-conscious modern office, everyone knows that paper is the chief material concerned.

Between documents, scrunched up balls of waste paper and even the stiff cardboard wrapping that sandwiches can come in, there is plenty to throw in to the recycling bin. Of course, it’s the same with plastic bottles and plastic wrapping, but there is actually more than that in the office.

Five Common Items

Here are 5 such additional items that recycle bins can be set up for – some of which, we’re sure, you’ve never thought of.

1. Mobile Phones

It is amazing how many people are stumped to know what to do with their old mobile phones.

We all love to get the newest and the ‘wow-est’ on the market, and end up leaving the old one in a drawer at home. What could be more logical than setting up a phone recycling bin at work.

What is more, there are charities and organisations that would love to get their hands on these phones – cleanup.org, the ARP and Mobile Muster  from Australian Mobile Recycling – so you can help the environment and raise funds for good causes too.

2. Eye Glasses

Believe it or not, eye glasses can be reused. In fact, Lions Clubs International have recycling centres around Australia and the world to gather unwanted glasses and send them to third world countries so others can benefit from them.

Why not set up an eyeglasses box, and ask staff members who have old glasses at home, or have recently gotten new ones, to donate them? Before they know it, their bifocals will find their way to faces in Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and India, being put to vital use once again.

3. Broken and Damaged Gadgets

Have you ever accidently dropped your MP3 player in to your cup of coffee? Well, if you haven’t, we’d bet you know someone who has.

When people come to work, they can have MP3s, discmans and even pocket radios with them. Sometimes, these gadgets can fall, be leaned on, be crushed or find themselves swimming in a Cappuccino.

Of course, these fates can meet desk phones, calculators and a host of other office-related gadgetry too. But where can your colleagues put these broken gadgets? Why not in a recycle bin!

4. Umbrellas and Rainwear

How many umbrellas have you seen sticking out of rubbish bins as you walk through shopping and commercial districts? Many people don’t realise that the rainwear they might tear on the way to work can the recycled too. It is the same for rain coats, and any rain-proof clothing made of polyester.

So, if a gale force wind turns your colleagues’ umbrellas into a haggard mess and tears their light rain-proof jackets and trousers, simply place them in a box and hand it over to your local recycling company. You may need to contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out who will take them.

5. Inedible Peanuts!

Sounds strange, but we are talking about the polystyrene packing peanuts that come with new electronics goods. Instead of throwing out these light little balls of foam, many moving firms are only too pleased to see them coming their way. This stands for all foam packing items.

So, while the cardboard box the new screens came in is added to the paper recycling pile, and the interior plastic bag to the plastics recycling pile, the little foam peanuts can create a polystyrene pile. These can be reused, rather than recycled, but either way, the world will be a little bit cleaner.

A comprehensive recycling program is a significant step towards a greener workplace.

Combined with other simple steps such as using floor mats made from recycled materials and continuous cloth towel for hand drying, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing your bit to help the environment.

Recycling is Green

Recycling is the best way to help our environment and it is very important that we do this often. With Alsco we offer variety of solutions to help make your workplace a greener environment like our Ecosafe Washers, Evolution Mats and Continuous Towels.

Our Alsco Ecosafe Washers are water based and exists in its own environment where oil and grease are transformed into water and carbon dioxide. The revolutionary Evolution Mats are made from recycled eco-friendly materials. And our continuous Cloth Towel also offers important benefits with less impact in the environment. Use cotton towels which are an environmentally friendlier option than paper.

If safe and healthy environment is what you want, all you need to do is ask Alsco.

Image Courtesy: Ramsey County Minnesota