Reducing Waste at Work

Reusing Items in the Workplace

donate mouseNo longer need those table tents, monitors or boxes? Consider making them available to other businesses. Chances are, your supplies can be put to good use elsewhere.

Check out our Where Do I Take My? database to find out how to exchange used items. You can sell, donate, and buy used items on the following Web sites:

Additional Tips to Give Your Materials a Second Life

  • Reuse or recycle materials in your production process.
  • Set up an area for employees to exchange used items.
  •  Encourage employees to re-label and reuse file folders.
  • Open mail carefully and reuse incoming envelopes for mail or interoffice circulation.
  • Use the back sides of printed sheets for notepads and drafts (full size or cut smaller). As you print drafts, feed used printer (ie, printed on one side only) back into the printer and print on the clean side. (A good idea is to designate a "draft drawer" of used paper.) Used paper can also be used in fax machines.
  • Reuse packaging (e.g. bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, Styrofoam blocks) or find someone who can. The Plastic Loose Fill Council will direct you to businesses accepting polystyrene peanuts for reuse in your area. Call 800-828-2214.
  • Use newspaper and shredded office paper for packaging/shipping material.
  • Require chemical suppliers to take back empty buckets or drums.
  • Use a mulching mower and leave grass clippings on the lawn (grasscycling). Send trimmings to the Waste and Recovery Center Yard Debris Site or sign up for yard waste service through your local garbage/recycling hauler.
  • Set up a system for your customers to return packaging for reuse.
  • Return, reuse, and repair wooden pallets and spools.
  • Send used toner cartridges back to the manufacturer for recycling or refilling. Most office supply stores now accept used toner cartridges for recycling, regardless of where the cartridge was purchased.
  • Use a laundry service that transports dirty and clean linen in reusable bags.
  • If your business is a retail establishment, consider offering an incentive to customers for returning and reusing items like shopping bags, drink cups and containers.

Contact Us

Call Loni Hanka at (360) 867-2282 or e-mail hankal@co.thurston.wa.us.

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