Washington University’s Danforth and School of Medicine campuses have been expanding the concept of ‘No Waste Bins in Offices’ as part of our sustainability commitments.
Also known as ‘Bin Be Gone’ is some cities; this fast-growing concept is being implemented by businesses, city governments, and universities in buildings that house predominately office space.
Why do it?
Removing waste bins from desks can have an immediate impact on reducing the waste generated. Paper waste is the most common waste material created in offices. As a result, most desks only need a paper reuse collection tray and a recycling bin at each desk. The waste bin can be located centrally in the office to provide access to the entire staff at once.
What are the benefits?
Studies have shown that removing under-desk waste bins while providing sufficient recycling bins as an alternative is an effective way of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. Removing individual waste-bins from desks also leads to heightened awareness regarding recycling and other sustainability efforts, as it’s something users will be confronted with every day.
Individuals become more conscious of waste they are throwing out, realizing that many items they would have previously thrown into waste receptacles can actually be recycled.
Fewer plastic bags are used, and there’s less contamination from waste and recycling bins standing on their own.
The greatest health benefit is that it provides the opportunity for staff to take a break from their desk. Occupational Health and Safety guidelines suggest staff routinely take a break from their desk to stretch muscles and relax eyes. Walking to a centralized waste center in the office staff can successfully fulfill those guidelines.