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Your Green Credentials on Saint Patrick's Day
/ Categories: Compliance

Your Green Credentials on Saint Patrick's Day

saint patrick's day blogSt. Patrick’s Day is almost here, a holiday famous for parades, parties, and everything turning so green. But when we think “green” we think “eco”. So in honour of our confidential shredding operation in Belfast, here are our 5 paper recycling tips, courtesy of Richard Hudson, our Northern Ireland Shredding Centre Manager.

1. Focus on paper consumption

Most office waste consists of paper. The highest impact action that you can take to reduce your waste is to reduce paper consumption. The two main actions you can take to reduce paper are to print double sided. This simple action could halve paper consumption.

The second step is more technical and requires capital investment to set up, but is worth exploring if you employ more than 50 staff. It is called ‘pull printing’ or ‘FollowMe printing’ and essentially relies on a user activating a print job at the printer. The reason it works so well is that over 30% of print jobs sent to a printer are never collected (i.e. they become waste!). Pull printing can reduce printing volumes by at least 30%.

2. Invest in good bins and labelling

We all know that offices use a lot of recyclable materials but not all offices have designated places to recycle. As you introduce a new paper and confidential document destruction option to the office make sure that the option is well communicated to staff and that the facility is highly visible. At Restore, our confidential shredding bins and consoles are easily identifiable, making it easy for you to dispose of confidential documents securely and ready for recycling.

3. Reduce or reuse

Paper reduction strategies offer a great opportunity to reduce waste but there are also other areas where you can reduce or reuse resources. Take time to look at other articles in your waste stream, such as cardboard and files, and look for a confidential shredding provider who commits to recycling these products too.

4 Remove personal bins

Once you have a strong recycling system in place it is imperative that you remove as many general waste units – in particular personal bins under each staff member’s desk. The key is to have a small number of centrally located general waste bins and a much higher ratio of paper destruction bins available around the office.

The benefits of the new paper recycling system should be communicated to all staff i.e. waste reduction potential, cost savings and the less chance of confidential documents falling into the wrong hands.

5. Run a paper recycling awareness day

If you find that adoption rates of the new recycling system are low then it is important that employees are engaged early. An awareness day which provides engaging graphics and appeals to employee’s understanding, beliefs and habits around recycling and environmental issues is key.

Focus on the financial and environmental costs associated with waste production and highlight the potential savings if everyone was on board. At Restore, we have a library of materials that we would gladly send to you to help you communicate the benefits of confidential document destruction and recycling so do get in touch.

6. A ‘shred everything’ policy?

Consider all the threats. An employee might absent-mindedly leave a document on a copier. Or a pro “dumpster diver” might go hunting for personal information in papers your office throws away or recycles. There’s always a chance that documents can fall into the wrong hands.

The bottom line: You can’t be too careful. That’s really the core value behind a “shred everything” policy. When “shred everything” becomes ingrained in your company’s operations and culture, you’re making a giant step in security.