Keeping the office clean is crucial for maintaining a safe and productive work environment. Perhaps the biggest threat to a clean office is garbage. Whether it’s packaging materials, food wrappers, or crumpled papers, waste can build up quickly. It also turns out that much of this “waste” can actually be recycled, especially paper products and bottles. Therefore, it’s equally important to separate garbage and recyclables as it is to remove them from the office. The best way to do this is to place waste and recycling bins in optimal locations. But where are these locations, exactly?
Easy to See
The first rule for placing these bins is to make them distinct and apparent. For starters, this means that each bin should be a different color or feature different signage so that employees can confidently place garbage and recycled goods in the right bins. An office recycling program may designate one bin for garbage, another for paper recyclables, and another for plastic or aluminum recyclables, etc.
Next, bins should be close to one another and in plain sight. Staff members shouldn’t have to run around, straining their eyes to find the proper receptacle. Bins should also be large enough to hold a decent amount of waste and recycling. This will reduce the number of trips to bring the internal bins to the larger bins outside for waste and recycling services pick up each week.
Near Exits and Entrances
It’s typically a good idea to place garbage and recycling bins near exits and entrances of the office. This provides a natural location for those coming back from lunch, heading to the restroom, or leaving for the day to properly dispose of their junk. It also makes waste removal easier when it’s time to bring the bins or bags outside.
Enough But Not Too Many
The size of an office and number of employees will affect how many bins it should have. For instance, a large office should have more garbage removal and recycling stations so that each section of the office can throw their stuff out without walking a long distance and back. In some cases, each employee might have a garbage and recycling bin right at their desk, which they can then bring to the larger bins at the end of the day or each week.
Smaller offices, of course, probably don’t need as many bins for their waste and recycling programs, unless they’re producing an inordinate amount of trash. No matter the size, an office should aim to not overdo it with the number of bins. Too many bins may encourage increased production of waste. It also makes waste removal and recycling more cumbersome, because every one of those bins must eventually be brought outside for pickup.
While every office is different, you can follow these guidelines for placing waste and recycle bins: label them clearly and make them easy to see, place them near entryways and exits for convenient drop-off, and choose the number of bins based on the size and population of your office.