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Commingled Recycling Services (Office)

Navigation: Minimum Sustainable Recommendations | What are the Issues? | What are the Options? | PDF Version

Did you know...Did you know that paper products are one of the largest consumables in offices? Up to 90% of office waste in the average workplace can be recycled. (Urban Impact, 2013).

Minimum Sustainable Recommendations

When developing bid documents for mixed recycling services (paper and mixed containers) consider the following:

  • Provide a list of the commodities that your company collects for recycling and request that the vendor review the list. Request the vendor identify if they collect the recyclable commodity.  
  • Request a written guarantee from the vendor that ensures all materials picked up by the vendor for recycling are sent to manufacturers for recycling, not deposited in a landfill. 
  • Ensure the vendor informs you of any changes to the recycling markets that may affect the recycling of commodities your company is collecting. 
  • Request vendors identify any other recycling opportunities you may not have listed in your bid documents.  Vendors may be able to provide other services or know of opportunities being developed in the near future (e.g. light bulb recycling, primary battery recycling, organic waste pick-up services).

Bid documents created for recycling services should consider the availability of recycling services in the local market, the value of the recyclable commodity, and the processes and practices used to recycle the commodities by the service provider.

Other things to consider

To minimize greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste production, the vendor should be encouraged to develop sustainable delivery strategies:

  1. Product delivery consolidations
  2. Efficient transportation logistics
  3. No idling of vehicles
  4. Use of fuel efficient delivery vehicles

The Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Act supports reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing environmental impacts through improved waste diversion.

What are the issues?

Reducing our resource consumption is considered the best way to counter the damage we are doing to the earth.  The next best strategy is to recycle as much of the waste material generated as possible.

Managing used paper, plastics and aluminum items as commodities rather than as a waste benefits all of us. Here are three benefits:

  • Recycling reduces our harvest of natural resources.
  • Efforts to keep recyclable materials out of the landfill helps reduce the amount of harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases released from trash.   
  • Making products from the commodities collected in our blue-box often requires much less energy and water than if the products were made from raw, natural resources.


What are the options?

Commingled recyclable commodities produced in office environments are easily managed through recycling programs in our community. Materials accepted by recycling service providers include:

  1. Mixed papers - office paper, glossy paper, newsprint, envelopes, windowed envelopes, bond paper, file folders, magazines, stationery packaging, box board, catalogues, computer print-out paper, thermal paper and post it notes.
  2. Mixed containers - plastic containers, plastic bottles, tin cans, aluminum cans, tetra packs and cartons, etc.

Other recyclable items such as batteries, cell phones and electronics are currently processed by dedicated recyclers through industry stewardship programs. Organizations should consult the Green Manitoba website at, to determine which commodities can be recycled through these stewardship programs and setup the required recycling program.


Last Updated: February 2019


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