Not long ago, the biggest waste issue of offices was paper. However, due to electronic administration, the volume of paper has gradually decreased and instead, packaging and other garbage items have become the main waste category. In manufacturing enterprises, the separation of hazardous waste, paper/cardboard, and domestic waste is usually regulated by procedures. In retail facilities, offices, and public buildings, a single waste container is still often used for all categories of waste, which significantly reduces the possibility of recycling and has a general harmful impact on the environment.
Why it is important to sort waste?
- Waste is anthropogenic and its accumulation is a global problem – from landfills, hazardous substances seep into the soil and the environment, contaminating our nature and water.
- Nowadays, much of the generated waste can be successfully recycled. However, it can only be done by separating the recyclable waste – e.g. paper, cardboard and packaging – from other items.
- It is proven that the cheapest way to reduce the harmfulness of waste and recycle it is to sort the waste directly at the site where the waste was generated.
- In Estonia, waste sorting is regulated by the Waste Act, which obliges all residents of Estonia to collect waste separately by categories both at home and at work.
How to organise waste sorting in a company?
Sorting waste starts with raising people’s awareness, in which in recent years, a lot of communication work has been done. Creating possibilities plays a big role as well – litter bins that enable waste sorting, e.g. Edge 100 Sort, which enable separate collection of packaging, domestic waste, hazardous waste, and paper/cardboard.
In public buildings, offices, and retail facilities, the first step towards waste sorting should be the mapping of the waste that is produced. Depending on the types of waste, internal litter bins with either two, three, or four different compartments can be used. For shopping centres, hotels and airports, Bermuda internal litter bins are a great choice for waste sorting, which charm with their strikingly elegant appearance and which can be ordered in many variations. If you are looking for a more minimalistic solution, Zell bins may be a suitable option, which thanks to their white colour blend into any interior and remain discreet even in more demanding spaces. In order to easily know, where to throw different types of waste, corresponding labelling in the form of stickers or colours should be added to sorting bins.
Waste sorting in practice – real-world examples
In order to find out how Estonian companies sort their waste, we asked our clients to share their waste sorting practices.
Port of Tallinn
Sorting waste is one of the easiest ways for every one of us to reduce the negative impact of human activity on the environment. We have created possibilities for collecting waste by category in our office rooms, on ferries operating between Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, in the Old City Harbour Terminal A, and soon in the reconstructed Old City Harbour Terminal D. The Bermuda Triple internal litter bin is used in the passenger area of Old City Harbour Terminal A for separate waste collection. We are very pleased with this product, as the litter bin allows each section and aperture to label with different colour, image, and information, which significantly simplifies waste sorting and also raises the environmental awareness of passengers.
Prisma Family Market
Sorting waste is a very important part of the everyday activities of Prisma Family Market. Our goal is to generate as little waste as possible, because after all, it is money that is thrown away. For us, waste management is divided in two parts: handling waste in the client area e.g. shops and handling waste in the backrooms and offices.
In the shops, we are using the two-compartment Bermuda Double internal litter bins. At the moment, the apertures of the bins are not labelled and we can see that clients are unsure about which type of waste goes to which compartment – we are going to solve this problem soon by clearly labelling the apertures.
In the warehouse, office, and other backrooms we sort waste daily. At the office with 80 employees, we have four-compartment bin, which is used in compliance with labels on it. In an effort to reduce food waste, we have been cooperating with Estonian Food Bank for many years, by donating the food with ‘best before’ date expired. In addition, we are trying to minimise the use of non-reusable packaging in our shops.
One of our goals is to educate our clients to be more conscious consumers. For example, in Finland, we have S-mobiili app, where clients can to see their purchase history, special offers, and ecological footprint. There is no doubt that the retail sector as well as consumers are moving towards more environmentally friendly solutions.
Environmental sustainability starts with ourselves and any step to reduce waste is a step in the right direction. One of the steps in this process is definitely sorting waste in the offices and in that, decent and stylish recycling bins are of big help. The wish of LHV´s employees to help the environment by sorting waste entailed us to create appropriate solutions. We believe that sorting waste should be simple, which is why we are using Edge 100 internal bins. Over time, the type of waste generated in the offices has changed a lot – the amount of packaging and domestic waste has increased while the volume of paper waste has decreased. New and innovative solutions motivate employees to contribute more and more to environmentally sustainable activities.
Nautica Shopping Centre
Sorting waste is environmentally friendly and very important for Nautica Centre!
We are very happy with the choice of Bermuda Double internal litter bins for the shopping centre, as they are making waste sorting easy. The visitors can use separate compartments for packaging and domestic waste, which in turn makes it easier for the cleaner to sort the waste into the right containers. Also, people’s environmental awareness is evolving and constantly changing, depending on their age and interests. Talking and raising interest in this particular field is something that definitely needs more attention: to share more information about sorting waste and it´s benefits. We are very grateful that the visitors and employees of Nautica Shopping Centre are willing to sort waste and, thus, contribute to helping the environment.