Did you know that the average office employee uses a whopping 10,000 sheets of paper every year in the United States, and just under half of it ends up in the trash. The good news is that starting and implementing an office recycling program is an easy and effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and divert trash from landfills. Follow these ten tips to get started!
1. Create a Green Team
Implementing a solid recycling program is challenging for just one person. Get a wider perspective, more helping hands and greater buy-in by recruiting employees from every department in your office to join a green team.
2. Understand the Waste You Generate
Conduct a waste audit to better understand the waste you’re generating in the office and develop a plan to manage it. Ask your custodial team to weigh garbage after three days of collection to determine the volume generated, then visually inspect the waste to determine what may be compostable or recyclable.
3. Talk to Your Waste Hauler
Communicate with your waste hauler or take a look at your contract to see what items may be recyclable. Find out whether recyclables must be sorted or can be collected all together. In most areas, you can recycle cans, paper and bottles easily but always double-check.
4. Talk to Your Janitorial Team
Your custodial team should have buy-in in your recycling program. They will be key to collecting recycling properly and sorting it if necessary. Make sure to involve them in the design stage of your program to make it as effective as possible.
5. Think About Bin Placement
Our recycling bins are available in an array of sizes to fit in any area of your facility. When determining the best placement for bins, consider traffic flow throughout your facility. Identify prime areas for waste generation, like restrooms, meeting rooms, lunchrooms and common areas.
6. Consider Centralizing Recycling
You may consider asking your employees to collect recyclables in small containers near their workspaces, then taking them to a central recycling station and sorting waste themselves. This can reduce contamination of waste streams and increase the rate of recycling by holding employees accountable for their own waste.
7. Choose the Right Bins
8. Create Clear Graphics
The right signage can increase recycling rates dramatically. Make sure it is very clear which types of waste go in which bins, and use visuals to show exactly what is recyclable in your facility.
9. Launch Your Program!
Communicate a firm recycling start date to your employees, show them where bins are, talk about what can be collected and set goals to challenge your employees to get on board.
10. Keep Improving
Finally, check in often with your custodial team about the challenges and successes of your recycling program. Are more bins needed? Are people having trouble sorting waste properly? Should bin locations be reassessed? Asking these questions will allow you to improve your recycling program over time and adapt to new challenges.