Offices have looked very different over the past few months as employers and employees have been getting used to working from home. Employees have started returning to their places of work but it is causing many employers to look at working in the office in a different way. Great for some, but how might this affect the waste industry?
In the future, our prediction is that employers will have a more open approach to flexible working. Meaning that big offices occupied by one business might slowly become a thing of the past while hired meeting or hot desk spaces could see an increase.
This means there will be a lot less waste produced and as a result, fewer bins will be needed and collections will be less frequent. Of course, though, less waste to collect means less waste trucks on the road which is great news for the planet.
If less people are in large offices, there will be a reduced need for large staff canteens. This will greatly reduce the amount of food waste produced for recycling. As more people have and if they continue to work from home, this could lead to a healthier population. At home people have access to more kitchen items and food to plan and prepare lunch, people might stop popping to the shop to grab a meal deal and instead have a healthy homemade lunch.
With there being an increase in digital communication, less paperwork will be required. Which is great for the planet as less paper will be used.
People may have confidential waste stored at their homes which needs to be securely destroyed. This could mean employers sending out bags to store confidential waste, rather than a confidential console in the office.
While business recycling collections would lessen, more people from working from home could actually mean an increase in the amount of items recycled. Most household waste collection services offer a wider acceptance list and people have more awareness of recycling at home. This does open the question of when does it become commercial waste?
The future of waste is changing in the commercial world and if our prediction becomes true and more people work from home on a regular basis, waste will inevitably reduce which is a positive for the environment meaning there is less waste to pick up, so less vehicles on the road and less waste to dispose of. Less largely unrecyclable on the go food and drink packaging will be produced and the waste that is produced at home, people generally understand their household recycling better and are more willing to try and get it right.
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