California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Business Waste Reduction

Office Paper Reduction

Is there a need to reduce the amount of office paper used and disposed by businesses? You bet! In 2003, recyclable office paper represented over nine percent of the paper disposed in California, amounting to approximately 785,147 tons, with over 58 percent from commercial sources! Paper is the second largest component of California's commercial waste stream, accounting for about 26.5 percent of all commercial materials disposed. Furthermore, the commercial sector accounts for approximately 47 percent of all materials disposed in the state. See chart below. (Source: CalRecycle's 2004 Solid Waste Characterization Study.)

2003 California Disposed Waste, Office Paper
(785,147 tons)

Pie chart showing disposed office paper in 2003.

Commercial Office Paper Disposed: 451,383 tons
Residential Office Paper Disposed: 253,600 tons
Commercial and Residential Self-Hauled Office Paper Disposed: 80,166 tons

It is clear that there is considerable opportunity for California businesses to reduce the amount of office paper disposed in California, and by doing so, they can save money as well as conserve resources. Paper disposal is not only indicative of inefficient use of resources, it indicates time and money spent on activities that are not essential to a business's productivity. Even those businesses that recycle every scrap of paper generated still have to handle that paper--with attendant costs.

Last updated: October 16, 2005
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