City Hall aims to reduce trash, increase recycling with new mini deskside trash bins

City Hall employees who work in the basement and on the first and second floors will have their deskside wastebaskets replaced with mini trash bins in the coming weeks. City Hall employees working on the M floor and third floor already had their wastebaskets replaced.

The changeout is part of a Municipal Building Commission program to reduce trash, increase recycling and save money. The effort is similar to the central sorting stations at other City buildings.

How to use the mini bins

The mini bin is for small items such as candy and gum wrappers, staples, used pens and tissues, plastic packaging and other general office waste. It is not for food, food wrappers or coffee cups; these go directly into larger, shared trash containers centrally located in each work area. The mini bins will not have garbage bags because they aren’t for wet trash.

You are responsible for emptying your mini bin. When your mini bin is full, empty it into the central, shared trash container. Custodians will empty the shared trash containers every day.

How to handle recyclables

Put your recyclables in your deskside recycling box. When the box is full, empty it into a shared one-sort recycling container in your work area.

What can be recycled

See the recycling guide below to learn about what can be recycled.

Why the switch

Waste audits discovered that large amounts of recyclables at City Hall are put into the trash. On one day, 50 percent of the trash at City Hall was found to be recyclable, and much of it was beverage containers. These beverage containers won’t fit in the new mini bins. The bins’ small size will discourage all of us from automatically throwing away items that should go in the recycling instead.

The switch will also save the City money in trash disposal fees and bag purchases (46,000 garbage bags per year were costing more than $2,300).

Lastly, studies show that getting up from our desks and taking short walks helps us stay healthy. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure and high blood sugar. Emptying the mini bin will help us take a short break, boost our energy levels and improve our efficiency.

M floor pilot program

The M floor in City Hall served as a pilot for the switch to the mini trash bins and showed successful results in increasing recycling:

Garbage study

Before mini trash bins used 

After mini trash bins used

Date

March 31

June 18

July 7

Total garbage

9.4 pounds

24.2 pounds

18.3 pounds

Total recyclables found in garbage

3 pounds

1.5 pounds

0.2 pounds

Beverage containers in garbage

8

0

1

Percentage of recyclable material in garbage

32 percent

6 percent

1 percent

 

Recycling Guide Cropped

Published Jul 28, 2015

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