RoadRunner Introduces RecycleMore To Their Headquarters
In May of 2017, RoadRunner officially relocated our headquarters from New York City to the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, and since that time, we’ve grown from 30 to over 130 employees! After moving into our new HQ and getting settled, our focus quickly shifted to launching RecycleMore, the same program we implement at customer locations to help them recycle more and spend less. Keep reading to learn how RecycleMore laid the foundation to make a significant positive impact on the recycling efforts at RoadRunner’s headquarters and what we learned over the past year!
RoadRunner's Office-Space Analysis
Our team of Green Ambassador’s sought out to understand our office's waste set-up and material output in order to tailor a recycling program based on our needs. Similarly to other office spaces, our bins are routinely filled with mixed paper products, plastic and cardboard packaging and containers, food-waste, and general waste. Although a lot of our waste stream is recyclable, the lack of recycling bins throughout the office and our under-the-desk waste bins at each employee’s desk resulted in roughly 93% of our materials becoming waste.
Based on our initial waste audit, we found that only 7% of our waste stream was being recycled. As you can see from the graph above, once we implemented our RecycleMore program, our recycling rates dramatically increased.
Below you will find the specifics of RoadRunner HQ's diversion program, including many of the strategies that RoadRunner uses to help businesses from many industries RecycleMore.
Upon surveying our floor plan and materials generated, we set up a total of six common collection points to dispose of trash and recycling in the kitchen, on each side of the office, and in the copy room. This setup allows employees to conveniently access the containers in our high-traffic areas. Additionally, we opted to eliminate all the desk-side trash bins.
Studies have proven that a centralized waste program increases diversion and reduces contamination. For example, Google was able to increase their recycling rates 50% by removing their desk-side bins. Where the bins under the desks allow employees to toss any item (recyclable or not) without a second thought, centralized bins require people to get up and think before they throw an item in the garbage.
RoadRunner focuses on clean stream recycling, where materials are separated to maximize their value. This method keeps landfill diversion rates high, while eliminating instances of contamination. For the materials that we can't recycle (coffee filters, disposable cups, food waste) we have designated a stream for landfill. Our materials are being separated into the following streams:
Stream 1: Mixed Paper
Office paper, Notebooks, Scrap Paper, Magazines
Stream 2: Commingled
Clean Aluminum Cans, Glass & Plastic Bottles
Stream 3: Cardboard
Clean, Dry, Broken-Down Cardboard (In our very own FleetHaul cart!)
Stream 4: Landfill
Everything We Can’t Recycle (Food waste, disposable coffee cups, coffee filters, etc.)
Signage & Educational Materials
We understand that recycling correctly can be confusing, especially with the high-volume of materials produced in an office-setting. Sometimes, items that seem recyclable actually aren't, which leads to contamination. In order to receive the most employee participation and maximum recycling rates, each stream is labeled with a color to consistently capture our specific materials. Additionally, we provide signage and educational material at each disposal point to clarify which materials goes in which container. Below are examples of some of the stickers that you will find on our containers.
By The Numbers: How Removing Disposable Cups Reduced Our Impact
In addition to our newly optimized waste set-up and materials management program, smarter purchasing decisions and reducing our hard-to-recycle items have helped our company further reduce its footprint.
Diversion Increase: 55%
Part of our RecycleMore program involves data reporting which allows us to continually monitor and improve our customers waste operations. For example, based on the data we may recommend equipment optimization to generate further cost savings, or we may simply recommend additional signage and educational materials to help customers meet their goals.
As you can see from the graph above, our clean-stream recycling program improved our recycling rates by 55%. We are now recycling more than half of the waste we were previously sending to landfill and have achieved recycling rates as high as 62%.
Is Your Business Looking To RecycleMore?
Our headquarter's program will act as a test-lab, where we can monitor our findings and make adjustments so that we can continue to find industry-best practices. We understand that all businesses are unique, which is why we help create customized solutions for improving recycling operations and increasing diversion. If you're interested in learning how RoadRunner can help your business RecycleMore, one of our recycling experts will be happy to assist you! Get in touch with us today:
START RECYCLING MORE