When it comes to recycling at work, it doesn’t seem to come as naturally as our efforts at home. It may be because we are busy, or we don’t always see clearly how our minor contribution can make a difference. This is especially true if we work in a big organization.
It is important to remember that even one small recycling initiative can make a big difference. Canadians produce 3.5 million tonnes of plastic garbage each year. By diverting even a tiny percentage of that through recycling programs and services, individuals and organizations can help protect the environment and wildlife.
Tips to improve workplace recycling programs
Whether your office or job site already has a workplace recycling program in place, utilizes recycling services or is looking to develop a recycling plan there are some steps to take that will improve your chances of success. These include:
Have a bin strategy. While defining an overall strategy for your workplace recycling program, including details on where the bins should be placed. There should be a thoughtful plan about where the bins will be most useful. Put recycling bins in places that will be most convenient for your workers. For paper bins, they should be near copiers and printers, food recycling bins are best placed in the kitchen or staff room. Placing bins near garbage cans can also promote recycling efforts among staff. This will help encourage employees to recycle and can remind them about your organization’s efforts for the environment.
Encourage reusables. In your kitchen and staff room, promote the idea of reusable containers for food and drinks. Some ways to do this are to have cups or mugs for drinks rather than disposal cups or plastics. Consider green beverage options for your staff. Depending on your staff area, you may be able to provide silverware rather than plastic cutlery.
Poster up. Advertise your organization’s efforts to go green by putting up posters and other reminders around the workplace. These can include ideas on items to recycle or extra tips for employees.
Print cautiously. Ask employees to cut down on the amount of printing they do. Consider electronic copies of documents instead of hard copies. This includes any meeting minutes, agendas or notes that need to be shared. Reduce the amount of paper waste your organization produces and opt for recyclable printer paper.
Buy used ink. While most companies already recycle their ink and toner cartridges, it can help reduce waste and even save money to buy remanufactured ink or toner cartridges.
Consider your e-waste. Advancing technology can often make our devices outdated within months. If you are getting an upgrade, consider recycling options for your old electronics. There are online recycling service companies that will take your used computers, tablets or phones. In addition, some retailers will offer you a discount if you bring in your old technology and purchase new devices through them.
Define your unique needs. There are often unique recycling opportunities for companies that revolve around their workplaces and production. For example, stores and shops may have a large number of boxes and packaging material to recycle. Whereas construction companies may produce more metal waste that could be recycled in specialized programs.
Develop an internal reuse station. One employee’s junk may be another’s treasure. Consider setting aside some office space where employees can place their unwanted items for other employees to use. This can include computers, telephones, paper, pens, staplers, files and more.
Pass it on. If your organization has items in good condition that are no longer useful, find a way to pass it on. This can include donating it to a charity or school or selling it online. This applies to furniture, fixtures, computers, desks, supplies and more.
Buy wisely. When it comes to making company purchases, be smart about the types of products you buy. Consider how much packaging waste they produce, whether you can get a recycled option or if there is a reusable option, such as rechargeable batteries. Also, choose to buy from organizations that have a good environmental reputation so you can support their efforts and encourage more suppliers to go green.
Hire professionals. Creating or improving a recycling program within your organization can be overwhelming. You can save yourself the headache by hiring a professional recycling service company that offers recycling solutions. They will not only provide you all the materials you need to get started, but they will handle the pick-up and drop off process, giving you the ability to focus on the more important aspects of your business.
Audit your program. Develop a way to measure the results of your recycling program and be sure to share it with employees. It can help encourage them if they start to see the impact their efforts are having.
Offer rewards. Hold recycling awareness campaigns and activities. Some workplaces can even conduct recycling contests to promote the idea among employees. The reward does not have to be something big. It may be the best parking space in the company lot for a month or a selection of reusable containers.
Canadians produce a large amount of waste each year, and most of it sits in landfills, causing an eyesore and an environmental challenge. By encouraging your employees to recycle, your organization can make a big difference for our country and the world.
With a good plan, solid strategy and some easy-to-implement tips, your workplace recycling program can become less like work and more about making a difference.
For more information about the benefits of a workplace recycling program, call Platinum Mini Bins & Disposal at 855-338-8372 or contact us here.