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Reducing Operational Waste

Staples is not only committed to helping customers recycle and reduce their waste, we’re also dedicated to eliminating waste in our own operations. We have programs in place in our stores, distribution centers and offices to recycle materials such as cardboard, mixed paper, shrink wrap and pallets. We also actively seek out new methods for attaining our waste reduction goals.

We reduced our U.S. waste by 840 tons from 2011 to 2012 — going from 29,910 tons to 29,070 tons. The percentage of waste that goes to landfill compared to incinerator is approximately the same as in earlier years. Meaning, our waste to landfill decreased between 2011 and 2012, from 27,060 tons to 26,600 tons.

Total Waste Generated

in the U.S. (Short Tons)


Globally, our waste to landfill increased slightly (less than 1%), from 33,820 tons in 2011 to 34,020 tons in 2012. However, this represents a 10% decrease from 2010, putting the U.S. on track to achieve our goal of reducing waste to landfill by 25% before 2020.

We continuously seek new ways to reduce waste and increase recycling in our facilities. In recent years, we have introduced waste-reduction strategies in our stores, resulting in many participating stores reducing the frequency of waste pickup by half while increasing recycling volumes. This project has been rolled out to 400 stores — or 25% of the retail chain.

We have a similar focus on decreasing the waste impact of our distribution facilities. Accomplishments include: increasing materials collected for recycling, expanding geographic coverage of our recycling programs in North America, maximizing load sizes and minimizing hauls, using waste audits to identify waste reduction opportunities and reallocating recycling equipment to boost participation.


Achieve zero waste in our operations and help customers minimize their operational waste.


Zero-waste stores, warehouses and office facilities.

Long-Term Goals

Globally reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills by 25% before 2020.

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