Secrets to waste reduction in the office!

the-organised-cleaner/waste-reduction
Standard

When it comes to waste reduction, the challenge must be overcome both at home or in the office. In an office setting, waste usually comes in the form of paper. There are some useful hacks when it comes to effective waste management, which not everyone is aware of. So, in the spirit of starting 2017 with one eye on sustainability, here are some awesome secrets to help with your waste reduction and waste management in the office:

  • Engage Employees, Clients and Communities – Probably the hardest tip to follow through on but if you want to be successful with your waste reduction strategy, you’ll need to cast the vision and ensure the buy in of your team. You might need to carry out training on waste management, take suggestions from your employees, clients and the community at large and then involve them in creating incentives for waste reduction. Your social media page and signage at the office should share information on your efforts and where possible, have a take-back program and implement recycling. You should also consider providing water bottles and mugs that are reusable.
  • Recycling with Other Businesses – A really effective approach to waste reduction is by sharing equipment with other businesses close to you. If you have recyclables, you can sell them off as one. It may be possible to work together to host a recycling event for e-waste (discarded electronic appliances) as well!
  • Commercial Interchange Participation – Did you know that you’re able to exchange materials that you don’t want or may have in excess, for other things that you do need. You will find a wide variety of materials here, some that may be at no cost, while others will be available for a small fee. Either way, you will be recycling some of the things you no longer use including old computers and other electronics.
  • Donations – If you have old office supplies and old furniture, you should consider donating them. Non-profit organisations would benefit as well as cooperatives that would make use of craft supplies, binders, stationary, electronics and more.
  • Reduce the Use of Paper – One of the best efforts at waste reduction is to use the “print on both sides” feature on your computer. Ensure that this is the default setting. Additionally, try to fit more words per page by changing the margins to 0.75 instead of 1.25.
  • Audit your Waste – The motto for productive waste management is reduce, reuse and recycle. Start the waste reduction process by making sure you know just what it is that gets thrown away so that you can have an idea where you need to cut back on.
  • Minimise Lunch Waste – Ask staff to consider eating in by bringing their own packed lunch (in a re-usable lunchbox) vs. ordering out or picking lunch up and eating at their desks.
  • Email Newsletters – Instead of circulating paper newsletters, create a regular mail shoot and send out email newsletters. You’ll be saving trees and reducing advertising spend at the same time! You will definitely be contributing to waste reduction and the environment will thank you for it.

Sustainable business operations are becoming more common place and everybody needs to play their part  in saving the environment. You can start with effective waste reduction and waste management and by getting the message across to your employees you can amplify the impact. As staff learn they will form good habits and spread the information on recycling, waste reduction and waste management to their friends, family members and more!

If you have any questions about effective waste reduction and waste management for your office, call The Organised Cleaning Company on 020 74584433 and talk to one of our team today!

Want to stay up to date with the latest news from The Organised Cleaning Company?  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to The Organised Cleaner for regular updates 

Get rid of smelly sink odours!

Standard

When it comes to foul odours, there isn’t much worse than a smelly sink!

You’ve cleaned everything. There is not a crumb or speck of dirt anywhere, yet you smell something that turns your stomach. You investigate everything looking for this stinky smell. Finally. You discover that it is your sink drain. It smells horrible and you can’t seem to get rid of the odor.

The Cause

Smelly sink drain don’t just happen overnight. They’re a cumulation of weeks and months of everything you have run through your garbage disposal and down your drain – from sour milk to left overs from last month’s special dinner.

The problem is, not all you put in your disposal or down your drain gets flushed completely out. There are bits of food and who knows what, that stick to the sides of the pipes that is causing your smelly sink drain. As these left over items start decaying, it begins to break down and smell. This is a natural process of any living organism that dies. When it dies, it starts to decay and stink.

The Solution

But hold on – not all hope is lost! There is a way you can rid your home of the smelly sink drains without harsh chemicals. Not only that, it will even smell quite pleasant. By using a natural enzyme product you can eliminate the drain smells, pretty much forever. The enzymes will eat the decaying matter since it is their food source. Once the source of food is eliminated, no more odors.

These products have billions and billions of enzymes in them all eating the junk at the same time. This is how they work to eliminate odors so fast.

How to use Enzyme Products 

First flush your drain with hot water for several minutes. This will help remove some grease & fats and other loose gunk. You can even put some baking soda in the drain then flush it out as the foaming action will help to loosen more junk.

After you flush with hot water, run cold water down the drain, otherwise if the water is too hot it can kill some of the enzymes. Then pour about a cup of straight enzyme product down your drain just before you go to bed. Let it sit overnight giving the enzymes time to work. Depending on how bad it is, you may have to do it a couple of nights.

Once you’ve finished the first round of drain cleaning, a weekly maintenance program will help keep things in check and keep your drain clean, fresh and running freely.

The Aftermath

Using the right enzyme product will not only eliminate your smelly drain odor, but using one that has a fragrance added will make things smell fresh and clean. No smelly sink drain, just a pleasant fragrance. And a clean drain!!

Useful tips for cleaning your bin!

Standard

Nobody ever wants to take the rubbish out, much less, clean the bin! At the height of summer though, bins become a bacteria’s delight! Research has shown that if left unemptied for a fortnight, the level of extremely harmful bacteria can multiply by 600%…

You might not be able to see that it’s dirty, but if you don’t keep it fresh, you’ll definitely be able to smell it! To stop that from happening, here’s a few useful tips for your to employ:

  1. Wipe over the bin lid a couple of times a week, using a disinfectant wipe or spray. Even with the best of intentions, the bin lid gets covered in grime as the food flies past!
  2. Next time you’re buying a new kitchen bin, think about getting a foot-operated one so you can access the inside without having to touch the lid and potentially spread germs. Buy as big a bin as you can to fit the space!
  3. Clean the bin thoroughly once a week. Grab a pair of rubber gloves and get started! Avoid overfilling the bin bag, if it spills over or splits, the job gets much grimier…
  4. If the bin’s particularly gruesome, take it outside and hose it down first to loosen the worst of the grime. If you don’t have enough garden space, you could also do this in the bathtub.
  5. Use a multi-purpose disinfectant spray on the inside of the bin and, then scrub it with a toilet brush (not previously used in the toilet!) or a broom. Rinse and leave to dry.
  6. Ideally allow the bin to dry in the sun as the heat gets rid of mould. Then replace the bin liner.
  7. If the outside of your bin is matt brushed stainless steel, we recommend you clean it with a microfibre cloth and a glass cleaner.
  8. Using a drop of olive oil on a dry cloth can also quickly remove fingerprint marks and prevent new ones being left.
  9. To absorb odours and moisture, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda at the bottom of the bin before replacing the bin bag.

Your bin shouldn’t require a deep clean often if you empty the bin bag frequently and wipe down with anti-bacterial wipes so stay vigilant with your bin management!

Fancy using less stuff in your workplace?

The-Organised-Cleaner/commercial-cleaning-in-london
Standard

logoEven in this digital age, the average UK office worker uses around 45 pieces of paper every day, which means in an office of 25 people, 261,000 pieces of paper are used in just one year (that’s a lot of paper). To encourage people to use less we have put together a few hints and tips for using less stuff in the workplace…

Think Before You Print

Think twice if you really need to print – and if you do need to print, think about printing on both sides. This is an easy way to reduce paper usage by half.

Work As a Team

Put a new system in place that encourages recycling in the workplace – even something as simple as putting in a few recycling bins or creating a system that allows staff to measure how many print copies they are personally responsible for each month will get everyone working together on reducing their personal footprint.

Switch it Off

Have a ‘switch it off’ checklist that needs to be completed before the last person leaves at the end of the day. Apparently, £227 million worth of energy is wasted on appliances that are left on standby every year. Not only will this help to save money, it will also reduce your risk of a fire and help the environment too – it’s a triple win!

Think Small

Big change comes from small actions – it all adds up! You could do your part with anything – use a tupperware dish instead of tin foil for your packed lunch, think twice about printing, turn off your charger when it’s not needed: If we all did these little actions, it would make a big difference.

If you would like any help on waste management in your workplace, why not give The Organised Cleaning Company a call on 020 7458 4433 and they’d be happy to help!

Do you encourage recycling in your office?

Standard

cropped-occ-logo-white-background2.jpgHigh quality office cleaning is crucial to guarantee productivity & good working environments for your staff – it lets your employees get on with what they’re great at. However mixing high quality of cleaning with good standards of recycling can sometimes be hard to accomplish within an office environment.

In order to develop and encourage recycling in your office, we thought we’d provide you with a handy guide, which can save money, help you become a ‘greener’ company and protect the environment in the long term.

The why: Protects the environment & builds reputation

By recycling paper and cardboard to other office waste your company can help to protect the environment and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Recycling has many other positive factors; from reducing waste to landfill, categorising your waste, and making it easier for your cleaning team to sort.

It also builds your business reputation, as you are seen as a company that cares about the wider environment, and gives your office environment a boost in appearance.

The How: Remove under desk bins

Under desks bins can have a negative impact on recycling, as employees can become lazy and throw everything and anything in their own bins.

One way you can change this bad habit is to remove all under desks bins, and have several bigger bins in the middle of the office. Categorise these bins for recycling and general waste. This forces (and of course inspires) your employees to get up from their desks, and categorise their own waste into the correct bins.

If some of your employees don’t particularly like this, make sure you point out the positives. Sitting down for too long can be bad for health, which this recycling scheme actively discourages. As a result you will be recycling and improving your health at the same time!

Encourage senior management

To persuade your employees to recycle, encourage your senior management to recycle themselves. If employees see the senior staff going out of their way to recycle, this will spur other employees to recycle too.

Others have to set good examples for others to follow, and if you can be consistent with this, it can become a main ethos within your company. Embedding recycling into your company’s culture is the first step to recycling success.

The How: Communicate to your employees about your new scheme

To make recycling a key policy of your company, your staff and cleaners need to know about it! You may place recycling points in your office, encourage senior management to recycle themselves, but if you don’t actively communicate to your employees about your new recycling scheme, they may simply ignore it.

To avoid this, send an email newsletter to your employees, place a notice on the noticeboard or even send a letter. This can make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to recycling goals.

Encouraging recycling in the office requires persistence in getting the message across to staff, as well as making sure that the waste disposal requirements in the office are properly set up to enable recycling to take place. Your cleaning service provider or a waste management company should be able to help you in this regard.

 

Waste Awareness Part 1 – What is Waste?

Standard

As a business owner or operator, can you honestly answer this question?

If no, don’t fret! Over the few weeks I’ll be posting a four part series on waste awareness. This all stemmed from our director Matt Harris attending a waste awareness course last week. He brought back some interesting notes and a couple of booklets waste, so I thought I’d enlighten those of you who know as little about waste as I did.

1. Introduction

The management of waste is often seen as an unimportant task which doesn’t require any knowledge about health and safety, protection of the environment or statutory obligation. However, failure to deal with waste effectively can have serious consequences for a business, whilst dealing with it effectively & in a sustainable manner can provide real and tangible benefits.

Businesses can make significant cost savings by reducing their waste (which on average accounts for 4-5% of a company’s operating costs). They can also contribute towards improving their local and national environment, which in turn helps to improve a company’s reputation with its stakeholders.

Research conducted by the Environment Agency points to  SME’s having a lack of knowledge of both environmental legislation and their responsibilities when it comes to waste. As the SME sector is responsible for more than half of the commercial waste produced in the UK, this is a serious cause for concern.

England & Wales produces approximately 430 million tonnes of waste a year (250 million tonnes of waste from household, commerce & industry, 90 million tonnes from agriculture and 95 million tonnes from mining & quarrying). As you can see, this is not an inconsiderable amount of waste that needs to be disposed of.

The cost of dealing with waste is generally underestimated, however, to work out the true cost of waste, you need to consider the following:

  • Raw material wastage;
  • Waste collection and transport;
  • Quality losses (i.e. rejects);
  • Energy, water and other material losses;
  • Handling and storage of waste;
  • Effluent/air emissions abatement plan;
  • Protective equipment and workplace monitoring;
  • Spillages, leaks and contamination;
  • Licensing; and
  • Liability insurance.

By SME’s looking at waste as a resource rather than a problem, they are able to significantly reduce the impact and cost of waste.

2. What is waste?

There are two ways of defining waste:

  1. The process analysis definition – “Anything which doesn’t make it to the final product is waste”; and
  2. The legal definition – Waste is ‘any substance or object…whicht he holder discards or intends or is required to discard’.

With the legal definition, it is important to understand what waste is because once it’s legally defined as waste, it requires the producer to take care of it and keep records and documents differently than if it is not waste.

The different types of waste that can be produced are legally defined by the process or premises from which they’re produced:

  • Household waste arises from dwellings of various types;
  • Municipal waste is collected by or on behalf of the local council and includes household waste, market waste, street sweepings & some commercial waste;
  • Commercial waste comes from premises wholly or mainly used by trade, business, sport, recreation or entertainment; and
  • Industrial waste comes from any factory or industrial process.

Controlled WasteAll of the above classifications are called controlled waste, i.e. the storage, handling, transportation and disposal is controlled by legislation and must meat certain legal requirements. Controlled waste must be handled by competent people regulated by the relevant regulatory agency.

Some controlled wastes have additional classifications and are subject to further regulation because of their nature and the need to handle them differently:

  • Hazardous waste need particular handling and additional controls from the point of waste production to final disposal. Business premises producing hazardous waste may have to register with the Environment Agency; and
  • Clinical waste comes from hospitals, nursing homes, dentists, surgeries and the like but can also include some waste from dwellings. Waste that carries infection shouldn’t be put into normal household waste but needs to be handled differently, and not all clinical waste can be disposed of immediately.

As you can see, there’s more to waste than initially meets the eye, and we’ve only really established what waste really is and its different classifications! For further information on waste & waste management, go to the Chartered Institute of Waste Management’s website.

Just so you know, Matt has gained certification from the Chartered Institute of Waste Management thanks to attending the course last week. As a result, The Organised Cleaning Company can not only provide an organised cleaning service, but we can also carry out waste audit at your premises and help with your waste management requirements. For further details, contact The Organised Cleaning Company on 020 7458 4433.