Reducing Your Office Waste

We often hear about the three R’s of waste management: reducing, reusing, recycling.

Reducing waste is arguably the most important of the three R’s. If we can reduce the amount of office waste that we produce, we don’t need to reuse or recycle.

For an office based business, reduction of waste not only has a great impact on the environment, but can also save your organisation money.

Below are some examples of common office rubbish, and how best to reduce them.


A busy office produces an enormous amount of paper waste each day.

However, there are plenty of ways to reduce paper use in an office environment, the most impactful being to ‘go paperless’.

While that’s a fantastic long-term goal, there are smaller steps that can be taken in the meantime to reduce your use of paper. They include:

  • Opting out of junk mail.
  • Encouraging your workers to edit on the screen, before printing.
  • Banning sticky notes.
  • Reusing cardboard boxes.
  • Using shredded paper for packing to save purchasing other packing material.
  • Trading paper cups for glasses and mugs.

Taking these small steps can add up in the long run, reducing the amount of paper waste you produce, making your business more eco-friendly and saving you money.


It’s not just paper; offices also produce plenty of unnecessary plastic waste.

For instance, single use bottles, wrapping paper for packaging and single use plastic containers are common items that make up office waste.

However, you can reduce these items by encouraging the use of reusable bottles and containers, and by foregoing plastic wrapping when shipping items.

Printer cartridges, though reusable, can be reduced. By printing less you’ll contribute to reducing the need for plastic cartridges and toners altogether.


There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of bulky office waste your business produces.

For example, when designing your office, go for simple, timeless furniture pieces that don’t date. That removes the need to update your furniture regularly to stay in vogue.

Furthermore, invest in quality and you’ll avoid the need to regularly replace your furniture due to breakage or wear and tear.

As well as this, you could reduce the number of workstations in your office, through implementing an agile working system or hot desking set up.

That inevitably means less office rubbish to deal with down the track.

Lastly, save on storage space by going digital. Less paper means less need for filing and archiving storage units.


E-waste constitutes a huge portion of the office rubbish produced in Sydney and the rest of the world, every year.

It’s a huge problem, but one that we can take measures to address.

For instance, ensure that your computers and other electronics are regularly maintained.

This will extend the life of your equipment, meaning you’ll be reducing the e-waste that your company produces when the time comes to replace electronic goods.

Secondly, evaluate the need for additional equipment. Does your business really need to update to the latest tablet or laptop?

Whilst recycling e-waste can be very effective when done professionally, it can create additional pollution. Before you consider recycling, reduce where possible.

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