How to Motivate Employees to Participate in Recycling Programs

Each year, American companies produce loads of wealth, innovation, and opportunities. Unfortunately, they also produce plenty of waste. Wasted paper is the biggest culprit, making up about 70% of all U.S. office waste. All of this trash has to go somewhere, namely landfills, which are quickly piling up and harming the environment. Fortunately, recent years have seen a paradigm shift toward sustainability and recycling. Many companies are finding ways to produce less waste each year. Recycling programs are becoming more common in U.S. workplaces. However, these initiatives aren’t inherently exciting. Businesses must find ways to encourage their staff members to participate. Here are some ways a company can motivate its employees to recycle more often.

Educate Employees on Environmental Matters

People are more likely to perform a task if they know what it’s all about and why it matters. By now, most people have been told in some capacity that recycling is important. But many people don’t know the whole story. There are plenty of resources and organizations available that detail the importance and necessity of recycling and other green practices, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Waste Management. Employers should do their research and find ways to relay this information to employees. Businesses can also team up with local recycling programs to learn more and come up with ideas for the workplace. The more employees and leaders know about these issues, the more they’ll want to participate in an office recycling program.

Create Interesting Incentives and Set Goals

There’s no denying that rewards and recognition are strong motivators. Another way to motivate employees to recycle is by creating incentive structures. This could mean dividing the workplace into teams and coming up with competitive games that encourage recycling. Whichever team wins at the end of a given time period might win a prize or receive accolades. Or, the entire workplace can work together and strive to meet collective goals. Goal setting is another strong motivator, giving employees direction and something tangible to accomplish. A workplace recycling program might be broken down into smaller goals that employees can track, such as how many pages were printed each day and how many were double-sided, etc. If goals are met, the company might reward itself with a pizza party or extended lunch hour.

Make it Easy and Accessible

Lastly, employees will feel more inclined to recycle if it’s easy to do so. Companies should strive to implement recycling programs that are streamlined and integrated into everyday operations. These changes can be easy to make, too. For instance, leaders can place recycling bins in convenient and strategic locations, like near exits and restrooms. Recycling bins should also be clearly labeled so the right materials end up in the right places. This will also make things easier for recycling services when it’s pick up time. Most people want to do the right thing. During the hustle and bustle of everyday life, however, something as simple as recycling might be overlooked. Businesses should commit themselves to wasting less and recycling more in every possible way. They can do this by educating their employees, incentivizing recycling, and making it more convenient to recycle. If your business is looking for ways to create or improve its recycling program, contact The Budd Group. We help businesses find cost-effective solutions for their facilities, including recycling and waste management. To learn more about us, our people, and our mission, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!

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