There is a reason spring is the ideal season to consider clearing out your workspace: the weather is improving, the air feels fresher, and there is a sense of change that can inspire people to action.
For busy organisations, however, juggling cleaning and decluttering projects with a variety of other daily tasks can sometimes be challenging, especially if you are going through a ‘return to work’ or ‘reconfiguring work’ phase after COVID restrictions. This is why Westminster City Council has put together a quick guide for businesses looking to declutter and clean their premises this spring.
A decluttered workspace is a happy workspace
Decluttering might not be at the top of every business’ checklist, but research suggests that it should be. A study from the Princeton Neuroscience Institute shows that letting clutter pile up in offices and on your premises can make it difficult for your brain to focus and process information properly. This suggests that decluttering can help increase staff and employee productivity.
Step One: bulky waste collection
One of the quickest ways to declutter your space is to take inventory of your bulky items, such as office furniture and electrical equipment and assess whether they are still needed. With remote working becoming increasingly common, items such as desks, chairs and cabinets may not be used in the same quantities as before. The same goes for electrical equipment such as computers and printers.
Freeing up both floor space and counter space can instantly refresh your premises, and it is easy to do. It might even allow you to reduce the floorspace you need to rent. Local charities, community groups and schools are often interested in obtaining good quality redundant furniture. This page includes links to a number of furniture reuse organisations. For the items you cannot send for reuse, you can simply order our bulky waste collection. We will collect whatever you need to get rid of and send this for recycling or recovery at local waste management facilities.
The bulky waste we collect goes to a Veolia sorting centre, where recyclable materials such as metals, plastics and wood are separated for recycling, with the remaining waste shredded into refuse derived fuel which is used to generate electricity and district heating at our energy recovery facility. White goods, fridges and air conditioners will be dismantled and recycled at EMR in Willesden. All the small electrical appliances we collect go for recycling at SWEEEP in Kent.
Step Two: paper and cardboard recycling
Paperwork can occupy significant floorspace. So as a next step, we suggest gathering all of your redundant paper files, documents and cardboard and sending it for recycling. This can include paper files, periodicals, folders, newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes and cardboard boxes. Segregating all of your paper and cardboard for recycling not only saves trees from being turned into new paper but also saves a significant amount of the energy and water needed to produce it. Recycling is also more cost-effective for your business than throwing it away as general waste.
For any paperwork or files which requires discrete handling, our confidential and secure shredding service is available to ensure your data is securely destroyed. This takes place in our secure, accredited shredding facility. Once shredded, you will receive a certificate of destruction certifying that your documents have been disposed of in a GDPR compliant manner.
Step Three: freshen up how your premises looks on the outside
After taking into account your indoor cleaning and decluttering, the next step is to ensure your premises are in good condition on the outside. This is especially important in Central London, as foot traffic, vehicle pollution, and other factors tend to make outdoor areas quickly look grubby if not regularly jet washed.
Leaking commercial waste bags can make this worse through stained patches on the pavement. To prevent unsanitary and unsightly stains from leaking waste bags outside your premises, please take a look at our article on how to present waste bags correctly for collection.
To rejuvenate the outside of your business this spring, consider asking our deep cleansing service for help. This specialist jet washing service can ensure that the immediate area outside your premises looks cleaner and more presentable.
Step Four: clean up the spring air too: using electric waste collection vehicles
With Westminster City Council’s goal to be carbon net zero by 2030, we would be remiss not to talk about the importance of clean air. The City of Westminster has some of the worst air pollution levels in Europe, mostly caused by traffic emissions. Addressing traffic emissions is a key element of our service provision.
Westminster City Council and Veolia have opted to fully electrify its waste collection and street cleansing fleet. The new electric fleet, which includes collection trucks, sweepers and electric bikes, is the largest operated by any local authority in the UK, and it supports an 89% reduction of carbon emissions when compared to a diesel-powered fleet. It also reduces typical combustion engine pollutants such as NOx and particulates, which are damaging to health.
By having Westminster City Council collect your commercial waste, your business will be supporting cleaner air through our low-emissions service. It will also immediately reduce the number of waste trucks servicing your street by getting rid of duplicate collection journeys of other commercial waste collectors. Cleaner air helps improve the health of Westminster residents, school children and visitors. Consolidating waste servicing arrangements through us will allow your business to contribute directly towards cleaner air and less congestion in your neighbourhood.
Step Five: segregating and storing waste for recycling
One extra tip for optimising your spring cleaning is to make sure that you are properly storing your internal bins and separating food waste, recyclable and non-recyclable waste. This can sometimes be a bit confusing, so to help make sure that your organisation is in line with best practices, we offer a free waste audit to help you recycle more. These waste audits are a meaningful start to sustainably managing your waste by reducing how much you produce and recycle more of it. Producing less waste also goes a long way in keeping your workspace clean and tidy.