Office Waste Recycling Guide

Why your office should recycle:

  • Every year, Americans throw away enough office and writing paper to build a wall 12 feet high from New York to Los Angeles.

  • The average American uses 580 pounds of paper each year. As a nation, we consume 850 million trees annually.

  • It takes 95% less energy to make aluminum by recycling it than by producing it from its natural ore, bauxite. It costs less too.

  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour!

  • For every glass bottle recycled, we save enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for 4 hours.

  • Recycling and Reusing the material in “tin” cans reduces energy use by 74%, air pollution by 85%, solid waste by 95%, and water pollution by 76%.

Office Recycling “How to”:

Every office waste recycling program relies on everyone’s participation and support to succeed. Make it easy for staff members to participate and you will be surprised how many pitch in and support the program.



Category 1
Paper Products
Do NOT Recycle
Copier paper
Computer paper
Junk mail
Phone books
File folders
Colored Paper/Post-its
Boxes -flatten first
(Staples do not need to be removed)
Paper towels
Food/Candy wrappers
Fax Paper (Thermal)
Waxed Paper
Carbon/Carbonless paper
Plastic Wrappers &
Rubber Bands
Spring clips



Category 2
Paper Products
Aluminum drink cans
Plastic drink bottles (coded #1 & 2) *
Plastic food containers (coded #1 & 2) *
Steel Cans (example: soup, chili, etc.) {rinse}
Glass jars and bottles
All containers must be empty – replace lids


How To Recycle the Waste

Each department should be provided with two new containers – one for paper products and one for food and drink containers. Each person (desk) should be issued a small box to be used for collecting office waste paper.

Keep the small boxes on, under, or next to your desk for handy recycling. When full, dump into larger recycling container/bag near the copier. The maintenance staff should empty the larger containers only, on a regular basis.

For drink and food containers, please deposit each empty can/bottle into appropriate container. Please do not dump cans/bottles containing liquid or food into recycling container. The maintenance should not have to sort your waste for you.

Tips for the “Environmentally Friendly” Office

  • Reduce the amount of waste you generate

  • Save paper by photocopying on both sides

  • Use the back of single-side copies for notes, messages

  • Route memos person-to-person, instead of making copies

  • Send electronic memos or e-mail, if possible

  • Re-use manila envelopes by labeling over old addresses

  • Use a coffee mug instead of a styrofoam cup

  • Turn off lights in your office when leaving

  • Purchase office supplies and products made with recycled materials, whenever possible

  • Recycle ink-jet and laser printer toner cartridges

Other Items to Recycle

Printer Cartridges

Did you know that most empty printer toner cartridges are recyclable? The following types can be collected for recycling. The proceed will go towards paying for the recycling program.

Ink jet toner cartridges (all types & brands):

  • Use pre-addressed postage paid bags located in the first floor foyer of the Courthouse. You may also request these bags from the Solid Waste Management Department

  • Place Empty cartridge in original or new packaging

  • Enclose in the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope and mail

  • Laser printer toner cartridges (all types & brands)

  • Place in original or new packaging

  • Deposit in box located in basement of Courthouse

  • When box is full, it will be sent in for recycling

Electronic Equipment

The Solid Waste Management Department periodically plans electronic recycling events. Watch our News & Events page for dates and times.

Buy Recycled

Buying products made from recycled materials is the best way to complete the recycling loop and insure that recycling will be cost effective.

Recycled products have come a long way. The quality of these products now meet or exceed the quality of products made with virgin materials, and prices are very competitive as well.

Most office supply catalogs and stores sell these products and denote them with the recycling logo.

If you would like information on distributors or manufacturers of recycled content products please contact the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department.

Thank you for doing your part to
and recycle
waste in Ogle County.