Office workers could do more to recycle the millions of tonnes of waste they throw away each year in the UK, according to Harsha Rathnayake, founder of JunkHunters.
Rathnayake is urging the sector to clean up and recycle, reuse and sort materials where ever they can. He believes that by sorting the waste they collect, office workers could make a difference to the environment, stating that a lot of the waste generated in office buildings could be recycled or reused. He also believes a few small changes like printing on both sides of the paper, reading documents on the screen rather than printing off and replacing vending machine cups with reusable mugs, would make a difference.
Rathnakaye has been collecting commercial rubbish in London for over a decade and has recently opened new centres in Birmingham, East London and Twickenham. He said: “Businesses are slowly becoming more conscious of the waste materials they produce but this change isn’t happening quickly enough. Every sector produces vast amounts of waste material but the good news is, with the office sector in particular, a lot of that waste can be recycled and reused. Paper, once used on both sides, can be recycled, as can a lot of packaging materials and items like toner cartridges. Good quality office furniture and electrical equipment can be sold, reused or passed on to a charity who will be able to make good use of the items. Small changes like swapping plastic or paper cups for reusable mugs and removing bins so employees become more aware of the waste they’re generating are easy to do and will have a massive impact.”
He continued: “At JunkHunters recycling is very important to us. We currently recycle 75% of all the waste we collect and are working towards a target of 80%. If materials can’t be reused, our team assesses whether they can be recycled, and we work closely with contractors across the UK to ensure materials reach the relevant processing and recycling centres. We’ve been operating in London for over 10 years now and have seen the demand for our service grow rapidly. We’ve recently opened in Birmingham, East London and Twickenham and have seen the number commercial enquiries grow rapidly. Where we stand out is that we offer a personalised service that is a lot cheaper than hiring a skip and you can be sure that materials are reused and recycled if possible.”