How to Start an Office Recycling Program

WANT to join the ranks of office recyclers? Consultant Matthew Costello, founder of Corporate Conservation, offers these suggestions: 1. Find a scrap-paper dealer.

Call companies listed under ``wastepaper'' in the Yellow Pages, and find out what type of paper they are currently buying. What are their minimum pickup requirements? What price will they pay? Can they help plan your program?

2. Secure top-management support.

See if the boss is willing to support recycling as a company policy. Let management know that workers are interested.

3. Figure out what your company has to offer.

Do you throw away the most valuable paper - white nonglossy? Highest prices are paid for the ``cleanest batch possible'' - no colored paper, gummed labels, newspaper. Staples, paper clips, and rubber bands are usually not a problem in small amounts.

Does your office use products like glossy paper in the fax machine, brown kraft envelopes, or yellow legal pads that a paper broker may not be interested in buying? Encourage your purchasing department to buy only paper that can be recycled.

4. Close the loop: Buy recycled products.

Think of recycling as a circle, each step leading to the next. Check out new products made from recycled fibers: Quality is going up and prices are coming down on stationery, pamphlets, business cards, white legal pads, computer printout stock, and paper for fax and photocopying machines made from reprocessed wastepaper.

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