May 31, 2011

Purge Responsibly

The Choices Team


Not so long ago, the trash can was the “final destination” for just about everything in the office – empty soda bottles, stacks of sales reports and even spent 9-volt batteries from the portable Dictaphone.

While paper may seem relatively benign compared to plastic or chemical byproducts, it might surprise you to know that (according to recent EPA estimates) nearly 30 percent of all landfill waste is paper. And worst of all, most of this paper could have been recycled to make more paper.

It’s true that things are getting better. The amount of office paper recycled has increased each year since the EPA started keeping track, and paper-based materials continue to have the highest recovery rates of any recyclables. But we still need to do more – recent studies estimate that, as of 2010, more than 16 million tons of office paper ended up in U.S. landfills.

Last month, CHOICES shared tips for printing responsibly – making sure your office output remained as “green” and efficient as possible. This month, the emphasis is on purging responsibly, starting with tips on how to make paper recycling second nature in your office.

Currently, more than 73 percent of U.S. office paper is recycled. We hope your office already has a recycling program – if it doesn’t, then keep connected to CHOICES for more information about creating your own office recycling initiative.

We’ll also share tips on document shredding (and secure recycling for shredded paper), information about “closed loop” paper recycling systems and filing tips and tricks that will help you save time and minimize waste.

In the meantime, please purge responsibly.

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