Managing waste in an office environment


Every non-managed office has to think about their waste, where it will go and how it will get there! Rubbish may not be something we want to think about, but it’s part of every office. Teabags, milk containers, sandwich wrappers… we get through it all every day and probably in significant quantities!

It’s worth putting some thought into how you will manage your waste and once it’s sorted, it’s sorted. If you are an SME in a building that doesn’t have a waste service, you’ll need to consider using a commercial waste management service, such as the one TJ Waste offers. Not only will TJ do the dirty work for you, but they’ll also talk you through all your options first, advising on any points as necessary or requested. We’re a knowledgeable bunch!

Educate your staff

Many people get confused when it comes to what can be recycled and what can’t so why not hold an informal tutorial for your staff to let them know what’s what? If you give clear instructions from the start there shouldn’t be any confusion going forward and it should make all the difference. You could also make the information available on your staff intranet or noticeboard so that staff members can refresh their memory or get up to speed if they missed the tutorial.

Outline that there will be general waste bins, but only non-recyclables should be put in these. Inform staff exactly what items can go into recycling bins and let them know that putting the wrong items in there is actually detrimental as it is contaminating the recycling. It is also important that all materials that are put into the recycling bins are clean and dry – make sure that they know to rinse and dry tins, cans and plastic bottles before putting them in.

General waste

General waste bins should be placed around the office so everyone has access to one as well as having one in the kitchen and WCs. Make sure that only non recyclable items are going into these bins to keep this waste to a minimum.

Recycling bins

Do some research into what type of recycling bins you’d like to go for, how many you’ll need and also have a think about whether you’d like to separate your recycling or keep it all together. Make sure that all items go into the bin clean and empty and be sure to take lids off all plastic bottles as these cannot be recycled.

What can be recycled?

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic bottles only (milk, soft drinks and washing detergent types are all fine)
  • Tins
  • Drinks cans

What can’t be recycled?

The ability to recycle different types of plastics differs around the UK. Here in Hampshire, we’re able to recycle a vast amount of plastics, however, as with most counties, different types of single-use plastics are difficult to recycle economically. The following plastics cannot currently be recycled:

  • Margarine tubs
  • Yogurt pots
  • Ready meal trays and similar

Confidential waste

You could opt to have a confidential waste bin so that staff have somewhere to dispose of paperwork that contains personal data or sensitive information. TJ Waste offers a confidential waste collection service that guarantees that your confidential items will be handled appropriately and safely.

PPE containers

If your company is one that uses personal protective equipment (PPE) clothing, you could provide a bin that employees could use to dispose of their worn and damaged work clothing. Because these types of clothing are often branded with company logos you can’t put them into the standard communal recycling banks so this is a good alternative as the clothes can be taken away for recycling sensitively.

TJ actually has a PPE clothing bin of their own at their head office to provide this service to staff and to ensure that as much as possible is being recycled.

Glass and wood

Both glass and wood are recyclable materials but not often found in an office environment. If you do find yourself accumulating some of these materials, ask TJ if they can assist on an ad-hoc basis.

Commercial waste management

TJ offers a comprehensive commercial waste management service that can be tailored to suit your company’s individual requirements or circumstances. We can offer as much or as little as you need and we can even assist you in coming up with a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) if you need one.

Find out more about the waste management service TJ has provided to Havant-based company Kenwood/Delonghi UK and discover if this could be the right route for your business too.

Materials recovery facilities

TJ has five materials recovery facilities in the southern region which is where all the waste that TJ collects goes to for sorting, segregating and recycling. TJ’s fleet of lorries will then take the separate recyclables to the appropriate recycling stations around the county.

Find out more about the commercial waste management services that TJ offer and get in touch today to discuss your requirements with our friendly team!