3 tips to improve your office recycling and reduce waste

Recycling collection at the office can be challenging. What items you can – and can’t recycle is based on who services your waste management and which materials their recycling centre can take.

Office recycling tips

Below are three important tips on creating a successful recycling program in your office which will improve your sustainability and increase waste diversion.

1) Remove desk-side collection and invest in centralized recycling bins

Convenience is arguably the most important factor when creating a successful recycling program. The reasons are simple: If recycling bins are too far for people to access, they’re more likely to put their recyclables into any or the first bin they can find for disposal. Also, if you’re not willing to provide separate bins for different waste and recycling streams (garbage, cans and bottles, paper, organics etc.) available at each desk, contamination is inevitable. A solution for this is the removal of desk-side bins in place of a ‘centralized recycling collection station’, which have each material properly separated along with clear signage. The decision at this point is then up to the individual to place their items into the correct recycle bin.

2) Clear signage on or above each waste and recycling bin

Once the users of your recycling program are brought to the centralized recycling collection station, it’s the signage and information that will help quickly identify what items go into each bin. The presence of clear signage associating each material (garbage, cans and bottles, paper, organics etc.) to its correct bin for collection is critical to a successful recycling program.
Here are a few ways to create effective recycling signage:

  • Use common standardized colors on signs and bins which helps people easily identify each waste and recycling stream
  • Less is more. Focus on having one or two key items highlighted as acceptable in the collection bins
  • Use icons or pictures to compliment the text on your sign with images of acceptable recyclable materials

Office Recycling Program
3) Staff training to create recycling awareness

Having the ideal collection bins and effective signs will go a long way for creating a great recycling program, but it isn’t everything. Another additional method is hosting training sessions for your employees. Bring everyone together to not only discuss the parameters of your waste management program, but to engage staff, educate and stimulate conversation about recycling. Another way is to openly communicate the success of the program through the use of environmental progress posters, or meetings to celebrate and encourage further success of the recycling program.

With these three office recycling tips in mind, you could begin seeing better results in your office’s recycling and sustainability objectives. But you don’t have to save the environment alone! Our team of experts can provide the resources you need to build a successful office recycling program. Please check out our Recycling Collection Services or Contact Us today for a free assessment!

Article written by Jason Gale - Environmental Coordinator on July 5th, 2018