Building managers carry heavy sets of baggage—one of those is waste management in buildings with complacent or incompetent corporate tenants. While recycling is not new and each rental space in a building has an office bin, waste segregation seems to be a hard habit to make in some small office corners.
Recycling is Easy, Waste Segregation is kind of Hard
Time and time again, employees and tenants are reminded by building managers or waste management firms to not be wasteful—reduce, reuse, and recycle at all times. Although those three are often followed and performed by most tenants, one small but significant factor in effective building waste management is often dismissed or taken for granted, and that is waste segregation.
Sure, the basics may be easily familiarized by a first-grade student—separate the dry and wet, and you’re off to a good start already. Actually, there’s more to segregation than separating two different states of waste. Being nonchalant about segregation is more likely to lead to more wastage, both in terms of trash and money.
Contamination of Dry or Recyclable Materials
One factor that’s unknown to or dismissed by tenants is the possible contamination of recyclable or dry waste. Yes, even a certain type of garbage needs to be protected from other types of garbage.
Since recycling involves making use of reusable waste, segregation is vital in preserving the reusability of dry waste through the prevention of contamination. And for that reason, offices should never take waste segregation for granted.
Once your recyclable waste is contaminated, it’s as good as rejected trash—you wouldn’t want a recyclable material to end up in landfills, with no use for anyone at all, right?
How does dry waste get contaminated?
Simply, dry waste gets contaminated once it gets mixed with hazardous or rejected trash. For instance, if you’re using a yellow lid or blue recycling office bin, contamination is more likely to take place if you’re mixing plastic bags, wet waste, garbage bags, and food waste altogether in one large recycling office bin.
If your office or building produces a lot of compostable waste or garden organics, you should contact your waste management firm or buy compostable bin liners or compost caddy from bin stores. You can also label an organic bin. Remember to never throw in paper, plastic bags, leftover food, and other trash because they diminish the quality of the compost.
Having said that, remember to buy separate cardboard bins or garbage bins for contaminants like paper or plastic, food waste, and other types of useless rubbish, so that they can’t damage the quality of your dry/recyclable waste and garden organics.
Other benefits of proper waste segregation
Besides being a small but crucial step that boosts effective building waste management, segregation will also help in materializing these organizational benefits for both tenants and building managers:
Reducing Overall Waste Management Costs. Throwing away both useless and recyclable trash is way more expensive than reusing them. Segregation on a larger scale, such as in the whole building, takes time—that’s why it should commence in baby steps, such as implementing segregation in small office corners. This will slowly but effectively help in reducing the overall waste management costs in the whole building.
Saves Time for Creating Streamlined Recycling Methods. As soon as segregation becomes a habit, it will be easier for everyone to innovate more streamlined waste management methods because the waste is already organized for recycling.