Great Ways to Reduce Waste in the Office

Reducing waste isn’t just limited to domestic or household waste. A large portion of the overall national waste is generated from offices, industries and warehouses. Packaging items, paper, disposable cups, construction waste, and unused furniture all add to the waste that goes into landfills.

 To prevent this, it is essential to play your part on both organisational and individual levels. With the speed that waste is multiplying, organisations should take the necessary steps to reduce waste accumulation in their offices. 

Awareness, understanding and the right steps can help you achieve a sustainable, environment-loving workspace. Whether it is reducing paper usage or hiring skip bins for proper waste removal, every effort and contribution count. 

Ways To Reduce Waste In The Workplace

Here we have outlined some easy and effective ways to reduce waste that each one of you can practise in your professional spaces.

  1. Embrace Low Waste Lunches

study revealed that Australians throw away nearly 1.9 million tonnes of packaging annually. This is equal to filling the Melbourne Cricket Ground over nine times.

 This can be reduced if the employees are encouraged to bring their own lunch and not buy pre-packaged foods. They should use reusable lunch boxes or Tupperware containers instead of disposable plastic such as cling wrap. You can also encourage your staff to use reusable coffee cups and drink bottles instead of disposable options.

While these plastic containers are recyclable, the energy used for their recycling is unnecessary. 

Tip: Consider giving your employees company-branded reusable containers, drink bottles and lunch boxes as corporate Christmas gifts. You can have the bonus of free brand promotion if any of your employees use their company-branded gift in public! 

  1. Reduce Printing To Reduce Paper

Australians consume, on average, 230 kg of paper products per year. While paper is recyclable, reducing its usage can be far more significant. Limiting the use of paper is one of the simplest & effective ways of reducing waste in the workplace.   

Encourage your employees to replace paper usage with sustainable alternatives. For instance, instead of taking notes on paper, they can use options like Google Docs. 

Another way could be to send emails with memos rather than printing them for noticeboards. Save paper by setting the default printer page size to ‘double-sided’ and reduce unrequired big 

margins on the document. 

Swapping paper invoices with digital ones is another great tip to reduce waste in the workplace. And it can save you a fair amount of expenses that you can better spend on additional office supplies. 


Isn’t it easy and pocket-friendly to be a paperless office?


  1. Replace Sticky Notes With Scrap Paper 

Another good way to reduce the amount of paper your workplace consumes on any given day is swapping out sticky notes for scrap paper. 

Certain day-to-day activities make using paper inescapable, and their digital versions cannot pay off. For instance, you cannot open Google Docs to take personal notes in your managers’ cabin. 

But there’s a solution for this, too! Use scrap paper instead of sticky notes for personal notes or intra-office correspondence. These can be a great way to reduce paper waste in offices. Moreover, using recycled paper over fresh printing paper is another alternative. 

Choosing to provide your team with recycled paper or pre-cut scrap paper over buying sticky notes can save you a lot of money.  

  1. Clean Out Your Office Space  

Like your house, your office space would have plenty of unnecessary items and clutter. So, have a big office clean-up to take stock of what doesn’t serve you when you’re on your mission to reduce waste. 

For instance, donate your office’s old-unused furniture to a charity. Find a reliable charity organisation near you and donate all your unused furniture. 

If not, you can also go creative and repurpose them somewhere in the office. Let’s say use them as a plant stand in the garden area of your office. 

decorative chair

Knowing how to reduce office waste can feel overwhelming. However, starting with one thing at a time can make things easier. Recycling electrical items is convenient and easy. So avoid throwing electrical items in the bin. Another thing you can do is replace plastic cutlery with reusable silverware. 

Find a local business dedicated to reducing waste by helping in clearing out old, unused items. Skip bin services at Melbourne Skip Bin Hires ensure every item is disposed of correctly. Like you, we dedicate ourselves to making the earth a clean, healthy, safe place to live.

  1. Recycle

It’s a good practice to recycle at an individual level. Putting a recycle bin in every office passage can remind your staff to recycle what they can. You can collaborate with organisations or communities that promote recycling and provide a platform. For instance, register on an organisational level with the REDcycle recycling Program to recycle soft plastics. 

Quit using plastic containers, cans or water bottles. Instead, encourage using reusable drink bottles made of glass or metal. Also, have a filtered tap or a water cooler in the kitchen. This will prevent your employees from buying plastic water bottles. Keeping a water jug in the fridge is another sustainable option.  

  1. Replace Wasteful Silverware and Dishes 

Ensure your office coffee station or kitchen has proper utensils and no wasteful paper, plastic cups, or dishes. While the upfront cost of reusable utensils is higher than their plastic alternatives, it’s a one-time purchase that will help you make this up soon.  

If your team members go out to drink coffee, ensure they bring their cups and dispose of them in the office recycling bin.  

Also, focus on reducing the use of single-use paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom. For this, purchase cloth hand towels and tea towels. 

  1. Indulge In Mindful Office Purchasing 

Did you know that the disposable coffee mugs you use at your workplace are not actually recyclable? 

Understanding your office waste is the first step to reducing it. Do the research and list all the items you usually use in your office but aren’t recyclable. Further, find their alternatives and add them to your “buying list” of office supplies. 

When purchasing office supplies, look for sellers who have environmental ethics. Check if they play their part in reducing waste by supplying reusable items. Also, buy office utilities like cups, toilet paper, sugar, coffee beans, pens, etc., in bulk to avoid more packaging waste. 

Ask them if they could pack your ordered items in compostable packaging. On receiving the parcels, don’t throw away the packaging and see if it can be reused. 

Wrapping Up

Reducing office waste is about adopting sustainable practices that work best for your business and the environment. While not all of these practices may sound ‘practical’, taking one step at a time will also benefit. 

And if nothing aligns with your business, find unique ways to reduce waste that seems convenient to you and your staff. 

And if you want to hire skip bins for your workplace, reach out to us and place your order! For more details about our services or skip bins, call us on 0423 666 00.