Erase Waste - A Quick Guide to Recycling In The Workplace


Recycling is the practice of collecting old materials, which are then processed into new products.
The Labor & Industry Building recycles more than 233 tons of paper each year.
Each ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees and generates 60 pounds less air pollution than paper created from new pulp.
L&I has a recycling rate of almost 80 percent.
The 20 percent remaining is mixed garbage. Unfortunately, a third of this mixed garbage includes things that should have been recycled such as bottles, cans, plastics and paper. All it takes is depositing these items in marked recycling receptacles.
With your help we can eliminate recyclables in Labor & Industry's trash stream.
Source: 2008 L&I Recycling Survey


Recycle newspapers, magazines, glass, aluminum and plastic in labeled recycling containers available on every floor.
Non-confidential white and light-colored paper should be disposed at your desk in a separate trash can for the janitorial staff to collect.
Used toner and inkjet cartridges should be sealed in their original plastic sleeve and carton, labeled "PIBH/Goodwill" and placed in marked boxes located in janitorial areas.
Request that recorded media be picked up and recycled (CDs, DVDs, diskettes) by submitting a Remedy Request to OIT for proper handling and disposal.
Corrugated cardboard should be taken to the shipping dock and placed in the proper receptacle.
Confidential papers should be deposited in the blue locked shredding bins.
Bring unusable rechargeable batteries to room 101 for recycling.
For more information on these topics review the commonwealth recycling policies:


Use the L&I Excess Office Supply Listing on the L-Drive to list office supplies you are not using. Check this site before ordering new supplies; the supplies you need may be available from another L&I office.
Purchase fiber board binders instead of vinyl.
Print less. If you really need to print, print to both sides of the paper (default or set to duplex).
Turn file folders inside out and reuse them.
Turn off non-essential lighting and office equipment at the end of the work day.
Turn off water faucets after washing your hands.
If you participate in leasing or purchasing goods and services for your organization, select Energy Service Company (ESCO) Project contracts and vendors. They offer Energy Star Products, use recycled materials and/or offer recycling and incorporate other environmentally sound building/production and recycling practices in their business. Read contract language, research vendors, discuss with L&I Procurement and Property Managers and Dept. of General Services contract administrators.


The benefits of recycling are considerable.
It keeps materials out of landfills which create methane gas, saves valuable resources such as trees, requires less energy than producing products from new materials, and even helps prevent global climate change.

Think "Green" For Our Environment

Disposing your plastic bottles and take-out containers in the regular trash stream instead of a recycling bin does make a difference. Visualize a heap of 6,000 bottles and take-out containers. Now move that heap to your own back yard or neighborhood park. That's quite a mass of plastic that won't break down on its own.
It's all about thinking beyond yourself and changing your habits. In only 21 days (the amount of time it takes on average to develop a habit), you can become environmentally conscious or "green-minded."


L&I participates in a monthly recycling reporting process at field site locations outside the Harrisburg area. The data collected is used to support recycling initiatives and to increase the volume and types of recycling in our field site offices whenever possible.
Each month, the designated recycling contact for each field site office will go the Department of General Services website at Field Site Reporting for Recycling Data and enter the information requested. Your contact must be given access to this site prior to being able to enter data. A list of current contacts and field site addresses is available on the L Drive/Recycling/L&I Address File. If you need to update this information or would like a copy of the instruction to complete the survey, e-mail Marian Bassler at or Patricia Rhine at At some time during the first week of the month, the previous month's recycling information will be added.


For more information about recycling in Labor & Industry, please refer to:
Management Directive 205.22
Recycling, Waste Reduction and Procurement of Environmentally Preferable Products
Executive Order 1995-7
Governor's Executive Council on Recycling Development and Waste Reduction
Executive Order 2004-12
Energy Management and Conservation in Commonwealth Facilities
Labor & Industry Recycling Coordinator
Marian Bassler
Erase Waste Pennsylvania P A Department of Labor and Industry