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The Eight Steps To Reduce Waste - Step 4

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Welcome to week 4 of our 8 week series on how to help you reduce waste in your business. So far we've looked over how to conduct a waste assessment, how to create a waste reduction action plan, and how to help reduce waste in your workplace. This week we'll be focusing on step 4 of our 8 step process, how to reuse items in your workplace.


Reusing is often a forgotten aspect of reducing waste in the workplace, but it can be quite effective, especially when it comes to larger items. In this article, we'll be discussing what it means to reuse potential waste in your workplace, some ways you can reuse common items to help reduce waste that is being needlessly sent to landfill as well as how composting can have a significant impact in reducing waste. Panda Environmental has a number of services that can assist you with implementing a waste reduction plan.. Click here now to find out more.


What does it mean to reuse?


Reusing materials can not only help reduce the amount of waste you produce, but it also cut down on the amount of waste produced by the manufacturing process of new products. Imagine, if everyone that used a piece of plastic cutlery washed it and reused it a second time. Though it's only something small for one individual if everyone took part it could have a quite large impact. Not to mention the environmental impact it will have. As well it would cut down on expenses as your company wouldn’t have to buy as much cutlery. Besides reusing disposable items, you can also invest in similar items which are built to be reused over and over.


What are some ways to reuse items?


Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which items can actually be reused, or even how to reuse them.  Here's a list of some common reusable workplace items. Assess your workplace to see which materials you believe are being unnecessarily being sent to landfill.


1. Any non-disposable products: This could mean things used for eating as kitchen cutlery, dishes, coffee mugs, or glasses, you may also want to invest in more durable cleaning products such as towels, and tablecloths instead of napkins.


2. Batteries: It may seem like an expensive investment at first, but investing in rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones can save money money, and decrease your waste. Batteries are expensive and hazardous to the environment so switching to rechargeable batteries can have a significant impact.


3. Paper products: Paper is easily one of the most overused products in any business setting. While it can be recycled, it's always best to first try and reuse your paper products in any way possible. This could be something as easy as printing on both sides of the paper rather than just one, or circulating memos, notes, or reports around the workplace rather than distributing individual copies. Electronic notepads are a great way to help reduce the use of sticky notes and paper at work stations. When it comes to paper the best option is to attempt to go paperless at first, but if that's not possible then try and reuse the items as much as possible before sending them o for recycling.


4. Purchase pre-owned equipment: Not all reusing needs to come from within your workplace. When searching for new equipment consider purchasing used equipment. This can be a win/win as it will prolong the life of an item as well as save money.


5. Office supplies: Offices tend to go through a lot of office supplies every year, especially when it comes to those used for storage. Consider reusing old file folders, storage boxes and binders that can be relabeled. Going paperless with files is something else that can be considered as so much can now be stored on your memory sticks!


6. Delivered product: Some delivery companies are able to deliver their products in returnable containers which can be reused over and over again. Contact your suppliers and see if this is an option that they are able to offer.  If it isn’t it may be something they are willing to consider starting.


7. Purchase durable and high-quality items: Though higher quality items are usually more costly at first you may find that they last longer than lower quality items. This may save you money as well as reduce the amount of waste you produce.




Composting is one of the best ways to reduce waste and help out the environment. If you are a part of any business that has any landscaped property to manage or are a part of any food related business then you have a great opportunity to reduce waste by composting. If you are part of a business that only produces minimal amounts of organic scraps you can participate in office vermicomposting, or work composting which can be done indoors.  Panda Environmental has a great compost/organic recycling program. Click here to find out more!


Be sure to come back next week for step 5 of our series on how to reduce waste in the workplace!


The 8 Steps To Reduce Waste:

1. Step 1 - Conducting A Waste Assessment

2. Step 2 - Creating A Waste Reduction Plan

3. Step 3 - Reducing In The Workplace

4. Step 4 - Reusing In The Workplace

5. Step 5 - Recycling In The Workplace

6. Step 6 - Sustainable Purchasing

7. Step 7 - Energy Efficiency

8. Step 8 - Other Concepts & Tools


Panda Environmental Waste and Recycling Solutions

Panda Environmental provides professional waste removal solutions that are designed to be efficient and effective waste removal techniques that both add value to the client and help the environment. We offer many types of recycling and composting methods that are designed to keep waste out of landfills, and reduce the waste removal cost for our clients. Click here to view a full list of our services. Panda operates across Southern Ontario. Our exact service area depends on the type of waste removal.



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- John on Panda Environmental


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