If you are feeling ambitious and want to improve your workplace, start a Recycling @ Work program!  Although it sounds daunting, it really is easy to do and you will be amazed at the difference your organization can make with just a few changes to your waste habits.

Business People Holding The Word Recycle on a Green Hill

Follow these steps to a greener workplace.

  1. Do a Waste Audit. What does that mean?  It means you get to pick through a day’s trash to see what kinds of items are being discarded.  Most of it will likely be recyclable.
  2. Plan your recycling program to capture as many of your office’s recyclables as possible from the beginning. It is easier to start recycling everything at once than to re-educate each time you want to add a new recyclable to the program.
  3. Plan your recycling receptacles according to the size and weight of the materials you will collect. For example, paper is heavy.  You may want to invest in smaller bins to be picked up frequently for heavy items.  Beverage bottles and cans are considerably lighter and take up a lot of space.  Larger containers in common areas might be a better option to capture those.
  4. Check with your waste hauler. Find out what recyclables your hauler accepts and make sure there is a location where the recyclables from around the workspace can be combined and made ready for pick-up.
  5. Keep it simple! Keep recycling bins at the desk, in common areas, workrooms, and anywhere else the recyclables are generated.  Always make sure to provide a recycling bin right next to every trash can in the office with clear, concise signage that includes pictures of acceptable materials.
  6. Be consistent.  It is important to make sure to educate all employees about the “who”, “what”, “when”, and “where” of the program.
  7. Perhaps the most important part of the program is to get buy-in from the janitorial staff.  They will end up being the hands and feet of the program and asking for their input early on in the process will help ensure its success.
  8. Take pictures and document your success!  Then celebrate! Have a staff pizza party or some other reward for your hard work.  You deserve it!

If you need help planning a recycling program in your workplace, contact us, we’re happy to help!

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