2020 is finally here - marking a new year, a new decade, and a clean slate for business owners and managers to focus on improving their business' recycling efforts. We want to help take your recycling program to the next level. In this post, we put together six ideas to get you started!
New Recycling Tips For The New Year
Conduct a waste audit
Waste audit: to many business owners and managers this term sounds intimidating, but don't let it scare you. A waste audit is an analysis of a business’ waste stream that uncovers information about the types of waste and recyclables a business generates (landfill, paper, plastic, organics, cardboard, etc.) and the associated volumes. The information you gather will uncover opportunities to recycling more, reduce landfill waste, purchase smarter, and identify other areas of improvement. Completing waste audits on a semi-annual or annual basis can be a great learning experience as many businesses find they are overpaying for their waste services and missing out on opportunities to recycle more. If you'd like a to get a head start on this, download our step-by-step guide to conducting your own waste audit.
Invest in waste & Recycling containers and labeling
Containers and signage for your waste and recyclables come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Choosing the right ones can go a long way towards improving your recycling program and minimizing landfill waste . If you haven't already, you will want to consider how many waste/recycling streams your business will be collecting, how many container stations you need in your facility, and which receptacle system will work best for your business. Once you understand the stream types your business generates and you've identified the right receptacles, we highly recommend using signage on your receptacles to inform your employees and janitorial staff about what goes where. Clearly labeled and color-coded bins eliminate confusion and ensure employees have the appropriate guidance to discard their waste into the correct containers.
strategically place containers throughout your building
Take a look at your current waste and recycling receptacle setup. Are the containers strategically placed throughout the building? Or does each employee have their own desk-side bins? Many business owners we speak with are surprised when we explain that removing desk-side bins and switching to a centralized collection area is proven to increase recycling rates. This strategy works by making workers more aware of the materials they are disposing of rather than aimlessly tossing them in desk-side bins. Common locations for the stations include common areas, lobbies, mail rooms, and kitchens.
Host A Recycling Awareness Day
Hosting a recycling awareness day is a great way to educate, motivate, and inspire your employees to recycle more efficiently and reinforce the expectations of your business' recycling program. Businesses have many opportunities throughout the year to host an event. For example, every year in November organizations across the United States celebrate America Recycles Day to recognize and promote recycling through events and educational activities. If your business is interested in hosting an event, subscribe to our email newsletter to stay in the know about upcoming opportunities.
Showcase Your Program's Progress
After working hard to improve recycling efforts at your business, be sure to share the results with your employees, stakeholders, and the public as well if it makes sense for your business. Sharing your results will further motivate your employees to continue recycling, boost morale, and strengthen your brand image. Many businesses we work with share their progress in company newsletters, memos, sustainability reports, blog posts, and press releases.
Follow These General Recycling Rules
It's always a good idea to refresh your memory when it comes to recycling dos and don'ts. Below are a few common recycling rules to keep in mind to ensure you are always recycling efficiently:
- Rinse and dry recyclables
- Replace single-use coffee cups with reusable mugs
- Do the plastic stretch test (if the plastic stretches, it is not recyclable)
- Break down your cardboard waste
- Generally speaking, every recycling facility accepts different materials, so always check with your recycling service vendor to see which materials you can recycle with them.
Recycling more efficiently doesn't just increase your business' recycling rates; it also helps reduce waste costs. If you need help developing a recycling program, RoadRunner creates and manages waste and recycling solutions for businesses large and small. To get started, schedule a consultation to speak to one of our representatives and learn how we can help your business recycle more and decrease associated costs.