RECYCLE, REDUCE, REUSE: Many of us recycle at home, and proclaim ourselves "green." But the workplace waste keeps piling up.
Out of those who said they recycled in a recent survey, 62 percent recycled at home, but only 49 percent recycled at work. While 87 percent of workers said it was at least somewhat important that their workplace be environmentally-friendly, almost a third of those surveyed said they did not recycle at all.
"I’m not sure it’s a difference in the individual employees, but rather in the priorities that the enterprise places on recycling," said Mark Murray, executive director of advocacy group Californians Against Waste. "(Companies) where recycling is the complicated bin that you have to find somewhere on your floor — those are the places that recycling doesn’t do as well."
To encourage employees to reduce waste, companies should upend the usual bin standards: Place a recycling container next to every desk, and make the regular garbage can a communal receptacle, he said. Printers can also be set so that double-sided copies are the default option to cut down on waste. And before things get thrown away — in the proper container — reuse them.
In the survey, 37 percent of employees said they refilled one plastic water bottle throughout the week.
Harris Interactive Inc. conducted the online study for staffing company Randstad USA Jan. 17-21. The survey polled 2,079 employed U.S. adults.