Office Clearance: tales of the unexpected

Office and Factory ClearancesWEEE

Removing items such as a boardroom table, a piano and a fridge might seem routine jobs for a removals company, but for a waste management firm such as us, these are just some of the random oddities we have been asked to collect and dispose of by businesses.

We are committed to supporting our clients achieve Zero to Landfill and raising awareness of how crucial recycling and effective waste management is, including understanding the importance of the correct disposal of materials.

Each year we undertake a significant number of office clearances because of businesses relocating or closing their doors. Relocating premises can leave organisations with a huge burden in waste, packaging, and unwanted equipment. As well as offering recycling and destruction of confidential and sensitive material, we can also handle waste electricals and furniture.

You’d be surprised at some of the requests we’ve received!

  1. We once removed a boardroom table from the sixth floor. The challenge was that it didn’t fit in the lift. We have absolutely no idea how it got there in the first place!
  2. There was another occasion where we had to remove a piano from the fifth floor. This time there was no lift, so the Printwaste team rolled up their sleeves and lifted the piano down the stairs.
  3. We once had to remove the door from a commercial fridge to enable us to get it in the lift and down to the ground floor to ensure safe removal from the premises.
  4. We were asked to remove confidential waste from an office, only to find that the basement where it was being stored had flooded. This then changed the category of the waste to hazardous. One of our team went to assess the risk, agreed the necessary precautions with the customer before arranging for its safe disposal.
  5. One company’s request to clear confidential waste expanded into an office move; in addition to collecting and shredding all the confidential documents, when we arrived, we were asked if we were able to dismantle the furniture and move it to another office in the building. A quick call was made to get authorisation before this additional work was carefully undertaken.
  6. On one occasion during a factory clear-out, we oversaw the removal of two 1/2 ton safes among other large pieces of equipment. Being quite old, these safes contained asbestos as a fireproof material and as such, presented a hazard that needed to be disposed of at correctly licensed premises. This is an issue often overlooked and highlights the importance of an audit.
  7. Office relocation can be stressful and often a logistical nightmare for businesses, and it is important that any planned downtime caused by such a move is kept to a minimum as it can impact operations and the bottom line. While downtime, even in the best-managed businesses, can’t be prevented, we work with companies to ensure clearances minimalise disruption. In one case, we avoided this issue completely by keeping a company running without interrupting operations, whilst moving them from one building to the other and clearing out all the waste at the same time.

Whilst working with our customers we ensure that we meet current legislation and minimise environmental impact with a comprehensive onsite waste audit of all premises prior to an agreed clearance date. Full documentation provides the customer with peace of mind that environmental impacts of the disposal route have been taken into account alongside financial considerations. It assures them that the waste will be disposed of legally and that, as far as is possible, material will be either reused, recycled and when these are not possible, disposed of via a waste-to-energy plant. Informing customers of the most sustainable solutions helps establish the right and best outcome, and when necessary, pointing out both their and our legal responsibilities.

If you’d like to discuss an upcoming office move or would like us to undertake a waste audit for you, please contact one of our team on 01242 588600 or email





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