Two years ago, Noetix formed the Noetix Green Committee to help oversee all of the recycling and waste reduction efforts at the company. Before the committee was created, only basic recycling was taking place at Noetix, which included a recycle bin at each employee’s desk for paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling. The Green Committee has since initiated many new recycling and waste reduction programs. Noetix now recycles all of its paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum, and glass products, as well as recycling old batteries, CFL bulbs, and plastic grocery bags.
The Green Committee looked at other ways to reduce waste, specifically in the company lunch room, since that was the area where most of the waste was being created. Instead of using paper plates, paper cups, and plastic utensils, the lunch room is now fully stocked with reusable ceramic plates, bowls, coffee mugs, and silverware. We still offer the use of paper plates and disposable utensils for company meetings and occasions where the reusable items are not convenient, but we now use corn-based disposable cups and utensil products that are biodegradable.
Wanting to do even more to cut down on our waste, we contacted our city’s waste reduction coordinator. The coordinator helped us in setting up a food compost program that allows us to compost all of our food scraps, coffee grounds, coffee filters, and corn-based cups and utensils. This alone has greatly reduced the amount of waste produced in our company’s lunch room. Over 80 percent of the waste from our lunch room is now either recycled or composted.
Last summer Noetix held its annual company summer picnic. This was our first “zero-waste” event. We were able to recycle or compost all of the waste from the event. This was a huge success for the Noetix Green Committee, and we are looking forward to hosting more “zero-waste” company events.
Noetix has won the award for one of the Best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Reduction in King County for two years in a row. This is great recognition that is given out each year to businesses that go above and beyond to help reduce their waste and increase their recycling efforts, and minimize their carbon footprint.
And the Noetix Green Committee is just getting started. We are now implementing a program with the help of TerraCycle.net that allows us to recycle all of our coffee bags from our lunch room and turn them into reusable commercial products such as handbags and backpacks. TerraCycle.net also donates two cents for every coffee bag recycled to an environmental charity of our choice. This allows us to not only help our environment, but it also allows us to give back to our community. It’s definitely a win-win situation.