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  • How to reduce and recycle waste at sports events Aug 15, 2018

    Stadiums and arenas generate thousands of tonnes of rubbish each year. The large number of people in one place at one time results in a high volume of waste and potential recyclable materials.

    Implementing an effective recycling plan and running more sustainable events at your stadium can save thousands of pounds a year in waste disposal costs, demonstrates environmental leadership and could help you attract a bigger audience.

    Recycling bins will play a major role in the success of your sustainability programme both front of house and behind the scenes. AJ Products has recycling bins and waste containers to suit every need. The company is dedicated to sustainable development throughout its supply chain and will help your organisation demonstrate the same commitment.

    How to get started

    First of all, event organisers need to identify the most common waste streams created at the stadium and evaluate current disposal methods. Common types of waste are likely to include:

    · Plastic bottles

    · Paper

    · Cardboard

    · Glass (from behind food service areas)

    · Food waste

    · General waste

    Then, set out your initial aims. There is no need for these to be overly complicated. For example, some achievable yet measurable aims could be to:

    · Identify waste segregation systems to enable greater recycling

    · Separate all food waste from general waste and combine with green waste for composting

    · Collect all plastic and glass containers after matchday events for recycling

    Once you have set out your goals, there are several areas on which to focus in order to make your recycling scheme a success.

    Restrict the waste coming into your stadium

    Most stadiums already restrict what items can be brought into the venue and many do not allow outside food and drinks to be consumed on site. By restricting what comes in, you can fit your recycling containers with customised recycling signs to show which items can go in each bin. Make it clear to visitors before the event what items will be permitted into the stadium. This information should be communicated on social media, in pre-event emails and on your website so that everyone is aware. Make sure you have large capacity waste and recycling bins at each entrance to collect any outside waste.

    Make it easy for visitors

    Inside the stadium, there are numerous things you can do to encourage recycling among attendees. Firstly, it is important to place recycling bins next to general waste bins. If the bins are separate, people will use the most convenient bin rather than the right one for their waste. Make sure that bins are visible by placing them in high traffic areas such as throughout the concourse and at the entrances/exits to the stands. Remember that people have just a couple of seconds to decide which bin to use so clear signs at eye level are essential; signs with pictures as well as text help people make a quick decision and avoid any language barriers.

    One innovative idea to use during the match itself is the “Pass-the-Bag” scheme. This simple initiative involves venue staff handing out recycling bags to attendees while they are in their seats and encouraging fans to pass the bag along after they have placed their recyclable waste inside. At the end of the event, staff can then pick up all of the waste and recyclables left in the stands more quickly.

    Encourage fan participation

    Encouraging visitor participation in stadium recycling schemes can be challenging. The venue needs to engage fans in efforts to reduce waste and lessen the stadium’s environmental footprint. One of the most effective ways to do this is by featuring the home team in marketing material: a video promoted on social media in advance of the game and shown on the big screen on match day will gain attention and make fans aware of the scheme. Recycling education can also be carried out by inserting notices in event programmes, displaying posters and billboards, putting clear signs on bins, and communicating where and why to recycle at the point of sale for concessions purchased on site.

    Make sure vendors use recyclable or compostable materials

    It is important to work closely with vendors and concessionaires as they will be responsible for a large amount of the venue’s waste. Make it part of your contract with vendors that they must use packaging and containers that can either be recycled or composted after use. Also ensure that they are recycling their behind-the-counter waste. Working with vendors and food service companies to address behind-the-scenes recycling is essential. No matter how many opportunities visitors are given to recycle, vendors are solely responsible for set-up and take-down waste disposal as well as post-event clean-up.

    Don’t forget about areas outside the stadium

    Areas surrounding the stadium should also be covered by your recycling scheme. This benefits the venue by improving your standing among the local community. Setting up recycling bins in the car park and surrounding area is an effective way of encouraging pre-and post-event recycling.
  • Modern office furniture & layout trends to consider in 2018 Jan 17, 2018

    There are constantly new up-and-coming office furniture design and layout trends. Besides looking good, they can help to improve the productivity and efficiency of an office by promoting collaboration and conversation.

    Here are 15 trends that you should consider if you are looking to redecorate or reshape your office.

    1. Open floor plans

    Individual office rooms are on the way out, and the large open-plan office is in. Everyone, from the CEOs to the interns are out in the open!

    From an employee point of view, the lack of walls in an open floor plan makes it easier for staff to interact with each other. Furthermore, from a business perspective, the increased collaboration resulting from an open-plan workspace can lead to business innovation and advancement.

    2. Collaborative office furniture

    Collaborative office furniture creates a relaxed and creative environment where employees can come together for a brainstorming session or impromptu meeting filled with buzz and ideas. You can create a dedicated collaboration or lounge area to make the working environment more enjoyable.

    Another great way of bringing everyone together at work to brainstorm while working is with community tables. They are ideal for the new human-centred workplace and will facilitate better social interaction as people seek more meaningful connections at work.

    3. Flexible seating

    Open office environments also mean the elimination of assigned seating. Companies and organisations are starting to allow their employees to work from any available workstations. This is also known as 'hot desking'.

    An additional advantage of this practice is cost reduction through space savings—up to 30% in some cases (CBS NEWS, 2014 ¹).

    4. Standing desks

    Research has shown that sitting for extended periods of time can have adverse effects on an individual’s health.

    Why sit when you could stand? More people are beginning to realise the importance of standing up during the working day. It helps to promote a healthy office environment, and many find themselves to be more productive standing rather than sitting.

    5. Whiteboard Walls

    Modern workplaces have very few walls, due to the open floor plan, but the walls that do exist can feature whiteboards or glass writing boards. The whiteboard or glass wall can be used for brainstorming sessions, strategy meetings or development meetings. Anytime you need a collective space to write down your ideas, it’s there to be used. Plus, it means the use of less paper in the office!

    6. Less storage room

    Organisations and companies are transferring physical files to the cloud. Cloud-based storage reduces the amount of space necessary for filing, printing, copying and storage.

    7. Glass-enclosed conference rooms

    Many companies are building their conference rooms with glass walls to preserve an open office layout. This keeps the open floor plan vibe while providing a quiet place for the meetings. Another great benefit is that it lets more people see windows and get natural light while working at their desks.

    8. No more wires and cables

    From wires, laptops and other electronic devices, to docking stations, paperwork and personal items, many things can make an open room full of desks appear very disorganised. Reduce the cable clutter under the desks with a practical cable tray. By collecting all the cables in the tray, it becomes easier to clean under the desk and staff are less likely to pull the cables out when they move their feet.

    9. USB ports

    In a modern office USB charging ports can now be found on desks, task lights and wall outlets. This way employees can recharge from every possible area of the office.

    10. Open breakout and kitchen areas

    Happy employees are more productive employees. Comfortable break and chill out areas, often with games and activities, and a full kitchen are becoming more common.

    11. Branding to promote company culture

    Branding has become a way of telling the company's story, what the company is about and what its core principles are. Conveying this through the office environment is increasingly popular.

    12. Comfortable workstations for laptop work

    More companies are creating comfortable areas of their office full of couches and bean bag chairs to give employees a place to relax and work on their laptop.

    13. Office organised by colour

    Some companies and organisations integrate pops of colour in unexpected ways, striving to be at the forefront of offering a broad colour spectrum of accessories and furniture.

    If the staff is separated within the office space by a department, give each work area its own look and feel. This could range from painting the walls to coordinating the office furniture.

    14. Fitness centres on-site

    Employee health and well-being have become such an important focus, with numerous larger companies building an on-site gym. If space permits, it's an excellent way to keep your employees happy and healthy. Alternatively, companies can offer employees free gym membership to a nearby gym.

    15. Bring the outdoors indoors

    With employees spending around eight hours a day inside, bringing more natural elements into the workplace is beneficial. Plants create an element of nature that also helps with air purity.

    Start with what trends and features you want to change in your workplace, and go from there. With so many ideas you can embrace in the workplace, you and your colleagues will be busy this autumn being more productive and collaborative.

    1. CBS NEWS (2014) Why companies are doing away with assigned desks [online] accessed from: [accessed August 2017]
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