A business office often takes on a life of its own and, with numerous people working within it, any office can generate clutter and waste as part of the normal activities required to operate the business. As with any building that plays host to a number of people, it sees a great deal of activity. Things are made, things are used, and things are – on occasion – broken.
Thus, it’s simply inevitable that any business office will, on a daily basis and over the longer term, accumulate a certain amount of waste. You need to deal with that waste in order for the business to continue to function efficiently, and it is important for both individuals and management to keep an eye on where that waste goes so it doesn’t threaten the reputation, safety, or the health of the business or its employees. So it’s important to know the best way to get rid of different types of waste so as to lessen the potential threats. Below, we look at the different types of waste a business accumulates, and how you should dispose of the waste.
This is the most important type of waste to dispose of properly, given its sensitivity. Confidential waste includes documents such as invoices, order forms, and statements of account, as well as anything else that might contain financial details. It also includes details about former members of staff, such as their application forms and payroll records that might contain personal information, especially their social security numbers.
What all of these documents (including electronic documents) have in common is that your company needs to dispose of them in line with legal requirements, which vary depending on your location. In many cases, for physical documents, this involves shredding, which you might consider accomplishing with an outside specialist to ensure maximal data security.
Across a given day, an office usually has people eating and drinking within it, and those people create a certain amount of waste that represents a health threat to your staff and visitors, as well as creating an unpleasant work environment.
There are three ways of disposing of this waste. On one front, you might consider composting the resulting waste and sell or donate the compost created or use it in the maintenance of green areas outside the office building. This has the added benefit of showing your market that your values align with theirs.
You can’t compost all the waste so you might set up recycling for things like cans and bottles. Other waste – especially if generated in bulk or items not suitable for composting – requires a non-renewable disposal option, so you must arrange dumpster rental to deal with this bulky, unrecyclable waste. This should only apply to waste that does not fall within the first two categories.
It is a matter of course that a business from time to time needs to replace its computers as well as peripheral items and gadgets. As time goes on, these devices slow down, break down, or become obsolete to the point where it doesn’t make sense to continue using them.
Legacy electronics represent a specific type of threat, as they are terrible for the environment (they don’t break down quickly and often contain dangerous chemicals such as the elements in the battery) and likely contain proprietary and personal information. In some cases, you need to destroy the devices, particularly if it is impossible to remove sensitive data from them. In other cases, you might consider wiping all data from the device with something like a degaussing ring, then donating the device to a charity or sending it to a company that refurbishes them. Check with local electronics retailers and experts to see what your options are, and also ensure that your decision complies with data security laws.
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