Maintaining a clean work environment means keeping trash off the floors and in the garbage bin. As an individual staff member, you probably don’t think much of the waste you accumulate on a daily basis. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that up to 90% of waste produced by U.S. offices can actually be recycled. So, while it’s important to take out the trash, it might be time to start an office recycling program.
Recycling Programs: Where to Begin
The key to successful recycling programs is knowing what can and should be recycled. Most people know to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles, but many of us remain unaware of all the recyclable materials around us. Most electronics and soiled food items can even be recycled.
Of course, recycling laws and facilities vary state by state, so it’s crucial to contact whoever is in charge of your office’s recycling removal services. They can tell you what items and materials to recycle, and which to throw away.
Sharing the Knowledge
Once you’re confident that you know the difference between recyclables and waste, you should spread the word to all staff members. With everyone on the same page, you’ll start to reduce the amount of waste normally produced by your office. Try setting up meetings – and make sure to incentivize people to come and learn. Do some research on the importance of proper recycling practices. This will help your team understand the positive impact they can make on the smaller and larger environment, as well as the energy the office will save.
Signage, Fliers, and Competitions
As a famous fictional soldier once said, “Knowledge is only half the battle.” You have to get the whole team involved to really make a difference. Designating recycling and waste bins via signs and notices can help remind people where certain items go, and why. Adding images related to green practices, paper vs. plastic, or landfills can aid in this recycling bin program.
To liven things up, you can think of games or competitions to keep score of how well certain individuals or teams are keeping up with the office recycling program. Set up a few stations around the office for each team. Designate someone from each team to take daily or weekly surveys of how much they recycled. Reward the winning team(s) after a week or month.
Removing the Recyclables and Waste
Of course, once the bins fills up, it all has to go somewhere. This is where your recycling services come in. Coordinate pick-up times and locations with your provider. They’ll likely want recyclables separated into categories like paper, plastic, electronics, etc. Make their lives easier by ensuring the right materials end up in their designated locations every week. If there are items your recycling service provider won’t collect, consider donating them or finding other avenues for disposal.
Starting an office recycling program might not sound all that exciting, but you can make it fun and engaging by learning, teaching, and incentivizing participation through competition and prizes. In the end, everyone in your office will feel better about getting rid of their garbage responsibly.
Keep an open line of communication with whoever provides your recycling services. The Budd Group prides itself not only on its services, but its people. We’ve provided recycling services and more for over fifty years, and we provide customized solutions for all our clients. Call us today at 800.221.8158, or email us at Solutions@BuddGroup.com!