Monday, April 21, 2008

Does Your Office Really Recycle?

Any excuse to post a photo of "The Office"........

As almost everyone knows by now, Dunder Mifflin of The Office fame produces paper, which of course is one of the biggest waste products of the office. A waste product that is easily recycled. One question that comes up over and over again is "As tenants, how do we ensure that the building/property manager is recycling paper, aluminum, and glass that we separate in the office?" Often the cleaning staff just throws it all away in garbage and doesn't recycle any of it despite the time people spend sorting. I recently asked 2 of the extremely knowledgeable sustainable champions in my office about this and here is what they said:

"The best thing tenants can do is make sure that recycling is in the lease, and then if they see the cleaning staff mishandling recyclables, they can report it to the owner who is contractually obliged to ensure the recycling happens." Each different form of recycling should be called out in the lease whether it's paper, glass, aluminum, ink cartridges, etc.

In addition to including it in the lease, "tenants should make sure that recycling and trash bins are well labeled in more than one language if necessary. This is similar to problems with construction waste management on the job site - if the people responsible for sorting and diverting recyclables from waste don't understand what it is and what to do with it, then it won't happen."

The facility manager also has to make sure that their waste pick up contract specifically describes what the separate pick ups are and that the recyclables are diverted from the waste stream.

So in the spirit of Earth Day, find those leases and make sure your property manager is doing what they should be!

1 comment:

Jodi "Millennial 4 Earth" Williams said...

And of course, remind the employees in the building to recycle (and make it convenient for them)!

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