Green Office - focus on waste

This theme focuses on waste and trying to encourage businesses and their staff to reduce, reuse and recycle at home or in the work place.  

What are we doing?

Cherwell District Council implemented an alternate week scheme in 2003/04. Increasing its recycling rate from 18.7% in 03/04 to 43% in the following year and being one of the top performing council in the South East of England for over 7 years.

The implemented scheme provided residents with a fortnightly waste collection (green bin), fortnightly dry recycling (blue boxes / blue bins) and a fortnightly garden waste collection (brown bin), and delivered by an in-house service.

In 2009/10 the council added cooked and uncooked food waste to its fortnightly brown bin garden waste collection. Further increasing its recycling rate to 57% in 2011/12.

In 2011/12 the council added a kerbside collection of household batteries to its recycling scheme.

Cherwell also offers residents a comprehensive network of 86 recycling bank sites in the district collecting items such as small electrical items, glass (colour separated), textiles and shoes as well as videos and CDs. 

Cherwell District Council also offers a weekly trade waste and recycling collection service for businesses in the district with a selection of packages to suit your business needs. For more information on the service please visit Cherwell District Council’s trade waste and recycling pages here.

As part of Eco Bicester, Bicester Green, a reuse and sustainability centre in Bicester, aims to cut the number of items going to landfill, some of the key priorities for the centre are:

- The creation of a community-led reuse and repair centre to divert usable items from landfill; 

- Raising awareness of community projects utilising eco-efficient methods;

- Providing training for those who are keen to support the initiative.

For more information on the reuse centre please contact Emma Gordon, Centre Manager on Emma@bicestergreen.org.uk or call her on 01869 388 564.

Bicester case study

Webmart Ltd, based in Bicester, have sustainability integrated into their business culture.  Here they share some of the waste reducing activities they are currently implementing in their green office.

Having a large number of recycle bins all around the office, they are able to recycle a majority of their already recycled paper. They also have a battery recycle pot in the office for all used batteries and all their printer cartridges get sent off for recycling.

Here you can see Richard Boon, a serious recycler at Webmart, recycling a used battery.

Tips

- Reuse old envelopes and packaging - just label over the old addresses.  Put a 'scrap/re-use' paper tray next to your office printer and use a bulldog clip to turn a wad of paper into an instant message pad! Use waste shredded paper as packaging filler

- Sign up to Retrader Oxfordshire a free website where you can exchange unwanted items without money at www.retrader.org.uk

- Encourage your staff to sign up to Bicester Freecycle where people swap unwanted items for free http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BicesterFreeCycle.

-  Add an email signature reading ‘Do you really need to print this email?’

For more Green Office Week waste tips, visit the Act on waste page

Useful links

- Download your free Green Office week schedule, posters and email signatures to help encourage your staff to be part of green office week - www.greenofficeweek.eu/Get-Involved/Downloads-Gallery

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