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Preparing Buildings Buildings for Post Covid Occupancy

During Covid 19 – waste reduction and diversion goals at companies looks different than it did just 3 months ago. The obvious difference is that most commercial office buildings are closed so there is little being thrown into a waste, recycle or compost bin. And there has been a focus on heightened cleaning.

As buildings prepare for occupancy to return, and it is unclear what the timeline will be and what the full occupancy will be so it is all up in the air, we are working with our clients on the following points:

Making sure that disposable PPE is put in the right bin!

In most cases it goes in the trash bin unless the building or company has contracted with a specialty recycling program to take back masks or gloves. We encourage reusable PPE as much as possible but recognize that disposable PPE will have to be on hand in certain cases. Companies should update their signage to include clear and specific language on where to dispose of PPE.

Refreshing the infrastructure in the building to be ready for occupancy.

This can include taking the time to update signage, making sure there are labels on the bins and re- communicating the recycling / composting plan in the building to building staff. Some buildings are encouraging use of reusables by giving away reusable masks and/or reusable bags, and placing hand sanitizer receptacles in public spaces.

Continue to support reusables and have a plan to address safety concerns

Reusables can be just as safe or safer than disposables because you maintain ownership of your own reusable items (whereas single use plastic has potentially had many people touching the item). To make sure that people feel safe using reusables, we work with our clients to communicate the proper protocols being taken in the cafeterias and pantries. We hope that post-Covid, the momentum we were seeing with reusables continues. We have been speaking with some interesting reusable systems and they have stringent cleaning / sanitary protocols in place that should alleviate concerns.

Refresher training

This has been a good time to refresh facility managers, property managers and employees on the recycling requirements. There is so much going on and we want to make sure that the recycling rules that are in place do not get forgotten.

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