Office workers could do more to recycle the millions of tonnes of waste they throw away each year in the UK, according to waste expert, Harsha Rathnayake. He is urging the sector to clean up and recycle, reuse and sort materials where ever they can.
Rathnayake, the founder of JunkHunters, believes that by sorting the waste they collect, office workers could make a difference to the environment.
He says a lot of the waste generated in office buildings could be recycled like paper, food packaging and batteries and other items (such as furniture) could be reused rather than being sent to landfill.
Rathnayake also says a few small changes like printing on both sides of the paper, reading documents on the screen rather than printing off and replacing vending machine cups with reusable mugs, would make a difference. He has been collecting commercial rubbish in London for over a decade and has recently opened new centres in Birmingham, East London and Twickenham.
He believes by taking the time to sort rubbish correctly, the office sector could make a positive difference to the environment.
Rathnayake said: “Businesses are slowly becoming more conscious of the waste materials they produce but this change isn’t happening quickly enough.
“Every sector produces vast amounts of waste material but the good news is, with the office sector in particular, a lot of that waste can be recycled and reused.
“Paper, once used on both sides, can be recycled, as can a lot of packaging materials and items like toner cartridges.
“Good quality office furniture and electrical equipment can be sold, reused or passed on to a charity who will be able to make good use of the items.
“Small changes like swapping plastic or paper cups for reusable mugs and removing bins so employees become more aware of the waste they’re generating are easy to do and will have a massive impact.”