More recycling at work 

"What a great idea for a business to go beyond simply recycling in the blue bin."

EDITOR'S NOTE: All of Ask Renee's columns are moving to NUVO! Here's one that first appeared online in September of 2015.

Find more Ask Renee columns here: nuvo.net/askrenee

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I’m turning to you for guidance on recycling plastic items such as broken in-boxes from desks. We have a closet to recycle office supplies — “take what you need, leave what you no longer use” — and some of the items are not usable. We even have a scummy looking plastic cart missing a top. So while it’s really trash, I’m glad someone put it on the closet and we now have a chance of recycling it instead of adding it to the landfill. But where? Any guidance you can provide would be great.

Thanks,


Stephanie,  National Bank of Indianapolis

Hi Stephanie,

What a great idea for a business to go beyond simply recycling in the blue bin. National Bank of Indianapolis is ahead of the curve!

If the broken items are plastic, they can be recycled with pretty much any plastics recycler. If you have a pick-up service already in place with a company like Ray’s or Republic, contact your account representative to arrange a special pick-up.

You can also take your broken plastics to RecycleForce — they’ll take your old desktop computers, telephone systems, copiers, and just about anything else with a cord []. If you have a lot of old electronics to recycle, you may even consider asking them to come to you and hosting an electronics recycling drive with your staff and neighboring businesses.

As for the not-broken items, if you ever need to clean out the closet, Teachers’ Treasures will put gently-used office supplies to use with local school teachers. Check out their Wish List.

UPDATE: As many of you know, there’s a queue of Ask Renee questions and it can take a few weeks for me to get around to answering. Well, as I was writing up the above answer, I received this message from Stephanie at National Bank of Indianapolis:

I just took that load of recyclables to RecycleForce yesterday, as a matter of fact – including that old plastic stuff, huge binders with heavy metal rings, old 10-key calculators, a huge metal rolodex file, etc.. Last week we donated seven boxes of “recycled” (aka overstocked, unneeded) supplies from our Office Supplies Recycling closet to Teachers’ Treasures. I love that – recycling at its best!

Thank you for being great stewards of the environment, NBofI!

Piece out,

Renee

(NOTE: This Ask Renee appeared in NUVO on Oct. 21, 2015.)

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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

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Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at rsweany@sbcglobal.net.

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