Looking for ways to improve your office's recycling efforts? As a business owner or manager, you know that behind any achievement lies a lot of planning and goal-setting. Just like anything else, goal-setting is an integral part to any successful recycling plan. Here are some attainable goals your business can strive for to enhance your office's recycling program!
Goal: Get Your Employees Involved
Getting your employees involved is key to a successful recycling program, but sometimes it can be a challenge. If getting your employees to recycle more is one of your company goals, you can start by showing them the importance of recycling, how it benefits the business, and your businesses' recycling rules. A lot of people report that they don't recycle because it's too complicated, so simplifying the process will encourage more participation! Make it easier by putting recycling bins in convenient places for employees and placing lists of recyclable materials on your bins.
Goal: Improve Your Recycling Rates
Looking to improve recycling rates in the office? Similarly to the goal mentioned above, identifying where your offices waste is created, and placing recycling bins in those areas is an effective way to boost recycling rates. For example, if a lot of paper is pitched in the copy room, place a recycling bin near your copier. This will ensure that more paper is recycled and less becomes waste. A study From Keep America Beautiful found that recycling rates increased about 20% among office spaces that offered recycling bins next to their employees desk. Simply making recycling easier and less complicated will increase your recycling rates.
Goal: Avoid contamination
Contamination can lead to low recycling rates, which is a bummer when your office is trying to implement a successful recycling program. Luckily, knowing how to properly dispose of your materials will ensure your business is recycling as much as possible! To learn more about what qualifies as contamination and how to avoid it, check out our blog post, What Is Recycling Contamination for tips on keeping your recyclables clean, education and labeled containers.
Goal: Recycle Your Unwanted Electronics
In 2014, an estimated 41.8 million tons of e-waste was generated across the globe. E-waste is everything from computers, phones and even kitchen appliances like refrigerators. As technology advances, so do our desires for the newest upgrades and thereby increasing the number of gadgets turned to waste. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream, but your office has the ability to make a huge impact by e-cycling! Many electronic stores like Best Buy offer trade in and trade up programs, so you can upgrade to the newest technologies without creating more waste!
Goal: Make recycling less confusing for my employees
Do your employees find recycling in the office confusing? It's not always as easy as it may seem. Keep America Beautiful reports from a national poll, "87 percent of respondents indicated that they typically recycle in their home, but only 41 percent indicated they do so in the workplace. Furthermore, 50 percent of those respondents indicated that it is difficult to extremely difficult to recycle in the workplace." Fortunately, recycling doesn't have to be confusing with a few helpful tips! Labeling your containers will eliminate confusion and minimize contamination, ensuring your employees will always be reminded what to recycle!
Goal: Lower Waste Costs
If your business' goal is to save money, recycling may be the answer. Waste fees continue to outweigh the cost of recycling due to expensive landfill and disposal fees. Additionally, by recycling more, you can reduce the amount of waste your business generates and therefore switch to smaller waste containers and less frequent pick-ups. It all leads to savings!
Goal: Educate your employees
Recycling can get confusing if there isn't a defined process in place. We recommend that you use signage, but keep it simple and to the point! Also, include a list of the accepted materials on your recycling bins, and unrecyclable items on your trash bins. Color-coding your receptacles is also an effective way for employees to associate a color with a recycling-stream throughout your building. For example, use green containers for your compost bins, and blue bins for your paper recycling. These easy tips go a long way in teaching employees how to properly recycle!
We understand that your business may need some assistance reaching your office recycling goals. If that's the case, feel free to reach out to us or leave a comment below. We're always happy to help! Thanks for reading.