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Establishing an office recycling program

Here are some tips to help you establish a successful office recycling program:

Create a green team

For a single person, implementing a recycling program might be a demanding endeavor. Recruit team members from various departments to obtain everyone’s take on what a good office recycling program looks like to them.

Determine the amount of waste you produce

A visual waste audit can easily accomplish this. Collect all waste over a three-day period with your custodial team. Weigh the waste to establish how much rubbish your office building generates in a typical week. Determine the percentage of waste that is recyclable or compostable using a visual waste audit.

Determine what you want to collect

Check with your waste hauler or your contract to see what recyclables they collect; this varies by location. Some municipalities require you to separate your recyclables at the point of collection (multi-stream recycling), while others allow you to collect all of your recyclables at once.

Use the waste audit data to determine which recyclable goods are commonly found in your trash. Paper, cans, and bottles are common examples.

Involve your cleaning crew

It is vital to have the support of the custodial/janitorial personnel. They can unintentionally destroy your program by collecting waste and recycling together if they don’t perceive the value and relevance of your program or understand how it works.

Involving the janitorial staff in the design stage can also assist you in implementing a more effective program because they have information into user behavior that you may be unaware of.

Identify the traffic flow

The most effective usage of the new bins will be determined by optimal bin location. Determine your office’s traffic pattern and the most likely waste producing places, such as conference rooms, public areas, and lunchrooms.

Choose the appropriate recycling bins

Select bins that gather all of your streams into a single container. If you use one bin for each stream (one for recycling and one for landfill waste), they will become divided, and people will use the nearest bin rather than the correct one.

Bins that grow with your program are a smart idea. Ones that let you adjust the recycling labels as well as the volume of streams you collect.

Start a recycling program in your office!

Communication is critical to the success of a recycling program. Everyone should be aware of where the recycling bins are, what you’re collecting, and your goals.

Place posters or signs beside the recycling bins to remind everyone of the objectives each time they use them.

Continuous enhancement

Check in with your janitorial team on a regular basis to see how the program is performing from their perspective. Are they having issues with people not properly sorting their recycling? Do you need to adjust the capacity of specific streams? You’ll be able to change your software as it grows if you’ve chosen flexible bins that allow you to raise or reduce the volume of streams.