How and Why Your Small Business Should Be Recycling Paper

How and Why Your Small Business Should Be Recycling Paper

Chances are, your business goes through a fair amount of paper. Even if you’ve tried to go paperless or cut back on printing hard copies of documents, you likely have some paper products that need to be disposed of.

But instead of just throwing away all of that paper, your business can recycle it. Recycling paper comes with many potential benefits and is relatively easy. Here are some tips for recycling paper in your small business.

Waste Savings

For most individuals and businesses in the U.S., recycling paper isn’t especially difficult. In fact, 96 percent of Americans have access to community curbside pickup or local drop-off recycling facilities that accept paper, according to Paper Recycles.

Of course, curbside pickup services may sometimes come with small fees in exchange for that service. However, if you don’t recycle that paper, your only other option is likely to just throw that paper away. And since your business likely pays for waste removal services as well, that’s where a major recycling benefit comes into play.

In some cases, you may even be able to negotiate a lower fee for your waste management services if you’re able to throw away less waste each week. So if your business goes through a lot of paper, that could lead to significant savings in that particular area.

More Materials for Paper Goods

Once paper is sent to a recycling facility, it can then be used for a variety of different purposes. In fact, paper can be broken down and then used again in more paper products about seven times before the material needs to be processed further.

What that means is that when you recycle, you provide more potential materials for paper goods manufacturers. So if your business uses a lot of paper, it could potentially make a difference in the recycled materials you have access to down the road.

Energy Savings

In addition to the decreased waste and space taken up in landfills, recycling paper can have another major benefit for the environment. Making brand new paper requires more energy than making paper out of recycled paper material.

That is obviously better for the environment, leading to less wasted resources and carbon emissions. And it can also make the process easier on paper manufacturers over the long run.

How to Recycle Paper

As mentioned earlier, the process of recycling paper is usually fairly straightforward. If you have a curbside service available in your neighborhood, then you can sign up or obtain a bin for paper products and simply recycle paper outside your office each week. However, you’ll just want to make sure that you know all the rules and guidelines for what is accepted. For example, some services may only accept things like loose paper while others also accept newspapers and even mixed paper goods.

If you don’t have access to a pickup service, you can also take your paper items to a local recycling facility. Nearly every facility should accept some type of paper goods.

Regardless of which path you decide to take, a business may need to take some more initial steps to set up a recycling program than an individual or household would. So you need to create a process that allows you and your team to easily set aside any paper goods for recycling.

To do this, specify bins around your office, preferably in convenient locations, where people can place various paper goods for recycling. For example, you might have one just for loose paper, one for newspapers and one for mixed paper. Then you can send in those items through the avenue of your choice.

Recycle Bin Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. With all the paper in the office, it is important to recycle. As for me, I don’t throw things right away. I keep them so that I can use them for taking notes and others.

  2. There is no excuse not to recycle paper no matter how small or large your business is indeed. I try to use scrap papers for taking notes too..I can’t seem to get to grips with notes on my phone!

  3. Recycling paper can decrease the amount of cutting tree. We could use recycle paper to make many kinds of new products, such as paper egg tray, paper box and so on.

  4. Our example: we bought a machine for crushing cardboard. All goods from suppliers arrives in their branded boxes, which we grind and use as a filler for packing our goods, so that they will not be damaged during transportation.