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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
PUBLIC GOVERNMENT BUSINESS A to Z LIST

Waste Reduction in the Office

Waste reduction at the office consists of little changes whose cumulative effect can make a big difference. With a little thought, you can apply pollution prevention strategies to any "process" that generates waste, whether it's making a cup of coffee or writing a memo to your co-workers.

Here is a short list of pollution prevention ideas for the office, just to get you started.

  • Bring in a reusable bag for your lunch; reuse plastic containers for your food items.
  • Don’t buy note pads – cut up scrap paper from the recycling bin.
  • For memos – make one memo with a circulation list on it. Few things are more wasteful than several employees working within a few feet of each other receiving individual copies of the same memo.
  • Better than paper, use electronics! Use e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, list serves, etc. Why just reduce paper use when you can eliminate it?
  • Keep a central office file instead of having employees keep individual folders. Save large envelopes for reuse when mailing – just cover the original name and address with sticky labels.
  • Save your toner cartridge for recycling – all cartridges can be recycled regardless of the manufacturer. Also, consider purchasing remanufactured toner cartridges.
  • Ask suppliers to package products in reused packaging such as newspaper. Better yet, ask if the product can be delivered with no packaging.
  • Don’t accept junk mail, such as large catalogs. Call the sender’s toll-free ordering number to remove your name from the list. Return the material with a large "did not request – return to sender" on it; they’ll get the message.
  • Photocopy on both sides of the paper – 62 percent of office waste is paper.
  • Be creative! Look for a way to reuse or eliminate an item before you throw it out.



NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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