Reduce & Reuse Paper in Your Office Before Recycling
If your company is making efforts to be more environmentally conscious, making a commitment to reuse paper and reduce office paper usage will have a significant impact. While you may not think your office uses a lot of paper-based on your paper expenses, the cost of using paper is actually far more than just the price per ream. Think about the copier/printer maintenance and ink, mailroom handling, postage costs, and employee time spent copying, printing, and processing paperwork.
Here are several ways you can reduce and reuse paper in the office before it gets to the recycling center.
How to Reuse Paper
For printed documents that don’t end up in a file drawer, consider how you can reuse the paper! Obviously, a commercial recycling company should shred documents with a sensitive company or client information, but all other paper can safely be reused in a number of ways. Here are a few creative ways to reuse paper.
- Fax Machine: Send faxes on paper that has only been used on one side. Just put a slash through the backside of the paper that has already been used to avoid confusion.
- Drafts: Print drafts on the unused side of old papers before printing a final document.
- Scrap Paper: Reuse paper for notes and memos. Cut each piece of paper into fourths, punch a hole in the top and thread them on a memo spike.
- Packing Material: Shred paper and reuse it as packing material.
Reduce Paper Usage in the Office
The road to a reduction in paper usage can be bumpy. Getting management buy-in and having processes in place that are easy for employees to follow is necessary in order to change your office culture about paper usage. Here are some easy ways to start using less paper in your office.
- Print on both sides of the paper. Bonus: this will also reduce your postage costs for reports you have to mail!
- Use digital forms. If you’re worried about security, save them as PDF files that cannot be edited without a password.
- Keep digital records. Hire a document scanning company to convert all your old paper files to digital formats.
- Use email or the company intranet for memos and announcements.
- Think before you print or copy! Reduce the size on the copier and adjust the margins in your word processor to fit more on each page. Only print the pages of a document you actually need.
Develop a Paper Recycling Program for Your Office
When you partner with a local recycling company like Combined Resources Inc., you will receive a recycling audit that reveals your office’s waste stream, ways to improve it, and what recycling programs you can benefit from. Almost ALL offices can benefit from a paper recycling program! Once you’ve reduced and reused as much paper as possible, the remainder will be recycled. You will likely have a combination of sensitive documents that require secure, commercial shredding, and regular paper for recycling that includes junk mail and scrap paper. By reducing, reusing, and recycling your office’s paper, you will end up with virtually no paper in your garbage bins and will have significantly reduced your company’s carbon footprint.
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