Dave's eco-nomics: Ban the bins

GREEN ALERT

by Dave Waller, MT's resident eco-prefect
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

According to Government-funded Envirowise, UK business generates 75m tonnes of waste a year, at an annual cost of £15bn (not to mention the impact that processing all that detritus has on poor Mother Earth). Of course, you know this already - you can probably point proudly to your recycling bins, and your team dutifully using them for all their printed waste. But your office cleaners are probably still hauling bagfuls of other rubbish out every day. To tackle the problem, the Government is introducing ever more stringent waste legislation - making it increasingly tricky for businesses to keep on the right side of the law. It's becoming a case of cut down on waste or pay the price.

ACTION PLAN

It may sound counter-intuitive, but the best way to tackle the waste mountain is to reduce the number of bins next to people's desks. Better still, ban them. This rids busy workers of the all-too-easy 'screw it up and chuck it away' method of 'filing' waste. Instead, staff are forced to think about their habits. Can rubbish go in the recycling, or - better still - be used again instead? With only one or two communal bins on the floor, the old habits will soon create an overflowing, festering heap. Everyone gets a stark illustration of how much rubbish they're generating - and how much of it could be avoided.

GREENIE POINTS

Three out of 10 - tricky to set up, but worth the effort.

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