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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 significantly reduced our U.S. total waste disposed between 2012 and 2013, from 29,070 to 25,150 tons (about 13%). The percentage of waste that goes to landfill compared to incinerator is approximately the same as in earlier years; as a result our waste to landfill in the U.S. also decreased between 2012 and 2013, from 26,600 to 23,000 tons.

Total Waste Sent to Landfill

in the U.S. (Short Tons)


Globally, our waste to landfill decreased from 34,000 tons in 2012 to 28,500 tons in 2013. We are still filling a few minor data gaps, but anticipate that ultimately we will have decreased waste to landfill by more than 20% from our 2010 baseline. This is in part due to closing locations in different parts of our operations, but also “right sizing” our waste disposal configurations, access to more accurate waste data and improved diversion for recycling.

In Australia and New Zealand, we are recycling just over 70% of all waste produced and are decreasing the total volume of waste produced by 10% annually.

We continuously seek new ways to reduce waste and increase recycling in our facilities. Recently, we have introduced waste-reduction strategies in our U.S. 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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