When Your Building Doesn’t Recycle – Grrrr

I’ve posted before about my wish for stricter enforcement of commercial recycling.  It makes me crazy to see that so many businesses and office buildings have still not instituted recycling. Even the people who want to recycle don’t think they can because there is no where to place things for proper disposal.

Recently I was at my allergist and asked where the recycling bin was and the receptionist looked at me like I was insane. She said it was up to the doctors to start recycling. They say it’s for the office manager to decide. Technically, they are all at fault because what they are doing is illegal – but if I say any more they might start being a bit less gentle with those allergy injection needles.

This post is for all you conscientious apartment building residents, office workers, and restaurant staff who want to take action but simply don’t know what to do. This information applies to the city of Philadelphia, but i am sure you can find similar information for your own city or township.

Back in 1994, the City of Philadelphia adopted a set of guidelines regulating the way commercial entities dispose of their waste. These Commercial Recycling Regulations require businesses to develop and follow a recycling plan. That’s right – not recycling in commercial buildings is illegal.

The city’s Commercial Recycling Handbook contains information about recycling that helps businesses save money while complying with the law. In addition to containing a recycling plan and a list of regulations, the handbook is filled with facts and tips that can excite even the most skeptical facility manager. The efforts of companies that recycle are often rewarded through the money they save as well as through the knowledge that they are conserving resources and improving the environment.

The commercial recycling regulations require all businesses in Philadelphia that utilize a private trash hauler prepare and submit a Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Plan, distribute the plan to all employees and/or tenants, publicly post the plan, provide recycling containers, and use a hauler or recycling company that is licensed by the City of Philadelphia.

Share this information with your boss or building manager to show them that not only is recycling easy and important, it’s mandatory and they could get fined big bucks. And if all else fails and you still want to find a way to dispose of your own office waste, designate an intern or take turns with your colleagues to bring your recyclables home from work or to public recycling bins.


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