Recycle at Work

guy recycling paper at work in blue recycle bin


Every day, each of us generates garbage in our homes and workplaces. Recycling is a wise alternative to sending heaps of waste to the landfill, especially for easily recyclable products such as paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum, and steel. Recycling saves natural resources, landfill space and helps avoid disposal costs. As public awareness concerning the importance of recycling continues to grow, many customers are choosing environmentally responsible businesses. In addition, if properly implemented, a recycling program can provide bottom-line savings.

Starting & Promoting Your Workplace Recycling Program

team of coworkers planning recycling tasks Ensure commitment from the corporate office, local management, and custodial staff. Appoint an enthusiastic, dependable recycling coordinator to help develop and monitor the recycling program. This person will need to work with all levels of staff, vendors, contractors, and the general public.

Strategically Place the Recycling Containers by reviewing the layout/floor plan at your store. Locate all areas' storage space, equipment, and employee/customer traffic patterns. Recycling container placement and recyclables collection and storage should maximize usage and ease. Involve employees in these decisions as they will be key to the recycling program's success.

Storage of the recyclable materials may be necessary until the scheduled collection day. When choosing a storage area, be sure it is easily accessible, adheres to local fire codes, and is large enough. If the recycling containers need to be placed outside for collection, be sure they do not block traffic, and a passerby cannot use your container as a trash receptacle.

Promoting Your Program

Continual promotion and education of employees is critical to the success of your program. Begin with a kick-off memo from upper management showing full support. Brief training sessions should follow to explain the program's benefits, materials to be recycled, and employee responsibility. New employee orientation should include the company's recycling program. Encourage employee suggestions and promote any changes message boards and emails.

Recycling Program Checklist

  • check list on a clipboard Obtain management's commitment and support.
  • Appoint a recycling coordinator.
  • Determine what materials to recycle.
  • Involve employees in the planning process. Make it their program.
  • Select a certified hauler or arrange for transport of recyclables to a certified recycling center.
  • Negotiate adjustments in your waste disposal contract if possible.
  • Place clearly marked collection containers in work areas and customer areas.
  • Kick-off your program with an official ceremony or memo from management. Continue to promote your recycling program to employees.
  • Monitor and evaluate the program.