Five office items you never knew could be recycled

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the UK produces about 228 million tons of waste every year. A lot of this comes from the business sector. As well as being damaging to the environment, waste costs money.

There are obvious things that you can do to cut your costs, such as getting a good deal on commercial electricity, but improving your recycling rates will help too. So what could you be recycling that you currently aren’t?


You probably already throw all your envelopes in with your paper recycling, but have you considered using them again? Recycling paper uses energy, so whilst it’s great that it’s being recycled rather than sent to the landfill, you can help the environment even more by reusing them yourself. For those companies without a franking machine, simply print the new address on a sticker and use it to cover the old one.

Mobile phones

Many companies now provide mobile phones for their employees, and probably replace them on a fairly regular basis as technology improves at such a rapid rate. Make sure that you recycle every phone as it’s replaced. Mobiles are full of toxic substances that shouldn’t go to landfill. All those phones need charging too, but many business electricity suppliers can give you free energy efficiency advice to help you cut your bills.

Packaging supplies

You can either save any packaging, such as bubble wrap or cardboard, to use again when you send out your own parcels, or take it to a recycling centre. There are now many companies that can collect your packaging supplies and recycle them for a small fee.

Phone books

Even though it feels like the phone book should be obsolete in this era of smart phones, you probably have a big stack of them somewhere. All you have to do is pop them in with your usual paper recycling and they’ll be taken away.


Replacing your office carpet? Check what the old one is made of because if it’s natural fibres, then your carpet can be composted. If there’s a large amount, don’t be tempted to stuff it into your kitchen compost bin – just ask the carpet fitter to take it away and compost it for you.

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