Your Questions about Office Recycling, Answered

Today, more businesses are implementing green initiatives to help the environment. Office recycling is one of the most common of these initiatives, and while you know it benefitting our planet, did you know it can also improve your bottom line? In this blog, we answer your office recycling questions so you can help your organization go green.

Q: How does an office recycling service work?

A: Individuals save acceptable types of paper instead of throwing them in the trash. At the desk, use a collection system that is convenient such as a manila folder or empty copy paper box. Some recyclers will provide personal recycling boxes; others can make recommendations of what, and what NOT, to use.

Larger recycling containers are placed by copiers and/or printer stations in your office. Individuals empty the paper collected at their desks into these containers. Obviously, “mistakes” generated in copy rooms and printer stations should be collected as well. In most programs, the cleaning service or facilities’ staff is responsible for emptying the intermediate containers, consolidating the carts for pickup and returning them to their designated locations. In smaller facilities, it may be the “Green Team” or other volunteers.

On a scheduled or as-needed basis, a background-screened, bonded, and insured specialist will pick up the collected recyclables at the designated pickup point, which is usually the loading dock. 

Q: We’re just a small office in a multi-tenant building. What can we do?

A: Contact your property manager to see if they might be interested in a multi-tenant program as a tenant amenity. In these programs, interested tenants participate together to achieve the minimum quantities needed to make a recycling program economically and environmentally feasible. Recycling programs help reduce the building’s waste removal costs and keep shared operating costs lower.

Q: Is there any paper I shouldn’t recycle?

A: Carbon paper, photographs, blueprints, and thermal fax paper contain chemicals and dyes that can’t easily be removed in the recycling process. Similarly, copy paper wrappers and Tyvek™ envelopes have moisture barriers that cannot be broken down in the recycling process and should be discarded.

Q: Are food wrappers recyclable?

A: Food wrappers, cups, and plates are not recyclable, as the presence of food waste can attract rodents and insects while the recyclables are being stored for pickup. Food particles and oils soaked up by these items also render them non-recyclable. 

Q: When will my recyclables be picked up?

A: It depends on how much your office generates. Your recycling provider should perform a comprehensive waste audit and provide you with a customized pickup schedule.

Q: How is my paper recycled?

A: Your paper is baled and shipped to a recycling mill where it’s pulped used to produce a wide variety of consumer and business items.

Q: How do I recycle my old electronic devices?  

A: Hard drives, backup tapes, and other devices should never be recycled without first destroying the data they contain. Use a data destruction service to destroy these items in compliance with federal privacy regulations. After the destruction, the recyclable shredded plastics and metals are sent to the appropriate recycling processor.

Q: My office doesn’t have a recycling program. How do I start one?

A: Simply contact Vangel to learn more about our single source, office recycling solutions. We’re locally-owned and owner-managed, so one call will get you personalized, expert assistance.

Vangel Secure Data Destruction and Recycling offers office recycling services for companies in the Greater Baltimore area and throughout Maryland.