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The 5 Rs of Waste Management, Explained

2 min read

It goes without saying that we love recycling at Gegan. However, is it really all we can be doing? Absolutely not. As a waste management company, obviously we want to encourage you to recycle. But above all else, we’re passionate about the environment and making sure we help you do everything you can to reduce your impact on it, even if it means you don’t need our services as regularly! So before you recycle, see if you can do any of the other 4 Rs to reduce your environmental impact, both at home and in the workplace…


Disposable cups and straws
There are so many options on the market for reusable coffee cups and stainless steel straws now that there’s really no need at all for disposable ones. Just make sure you remember to take it out with you!

Plastic bags
Keep a couple of cloth bags in your car or bag so don’t forget to take them with you, and you’ll never have to buy a plastic bag again.

We know, we know, it’s so tempting to take freebies when they’re offered to you (next door’s rubbish that ‘would be good for a restoration project’, keychains and pens that brands use to reel you in, Facebook Marketplace freebies you’ll never actually use…) but refuse it now and you won’t have to deal with it later on.

Waste in the workplace
One way you can help your business be more environmentally friendly is by making smarter decisions when ordering products and refusing excess or non-recyclable products. And with less to recycle, your business will soon feel the financial benefits of refusing what you don’t need!


Before you buy anything, ask yourself 3 questions: How long will I use it for? How long will it be on Earth? Is it worth it? We’ve found that a lot of the time it actually isn’t worth it, and you’ve forgotten about whatever it was by the time you get home anyway. Making considered purchases is great for the planet AND your wallet.


There are plenty of things we throw away that can actually be reused, both at home and in the workplace. Packing peanuts and other packaging materials are a great example of this in the office!

And of course we can all do our bit by choosing reusable items instead of single-use items, such as:

  • Replacing single-use cutlery with normal cutlery
  • Opting for a refillable water bottle instead of a disposable one
  • Swapping plastic cling film for beeswax wraps or glass food containers


It’s inevitable that there’ll be times where some things can’t be refused, reduced or reused – so what else can you do with them before you think about recycling? We recommend repurposing. Here are some of our top repurposing tips:

  • Use jam jars, tin cans or disused mugs as pencil posts
  • Use cardboard boxes for storage
  • Use crumpled newspaper as packaging materials
  • Use old clothing or towels as cleaning rags

At work, you can encourage staff to repurpose items by having a ‘repurposing station’ where they can drop off clean items for others to use where appropriate. We know not everyone will be on board with this at first, but quite frankly, they should be, if they care about reducing their impact on the environment!


And last but not least, recycle! The more we refuse, reduce, reuse and repurpose, the less need we’ll have to recycle (which will save your business money in the long run). But in the inevitable instances where we DO have materials that need to be disposed rid of, recycling is the 5th best option.

Need help with your business’s recycling? Get in touch and we’ll give you a free quote!

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