7 Things You Need to Do to Start an Office Recycling Program

There is no denying that offices generate a large amount of waste. Each day, employees use everything from drink containers to electronic equipment, all of which will ultimately end up in the waste stream. An even bigger offender is paper, which makes up the majority of all office waste.

However, the good news is that the vast majority of all office waste is recyclable. You and your team can easily take charge of your office waste by establishing a recycling program.

In order to make the most out of this initiative, however, you will need to do the following:

  1. Select your committee.

group meetingYour office recycling program won’t be able to make it off of the ground without the right team. However, before you can start picking people to be on your committee, you will need to enlist the help of the higher-ups. If you are a manager, then you should contact the building manager, your own boss, or even the company CEO to gauge their support for the program.

Once you have the green light, you should begin assembling your recycling team by choosing someone to be the leader. This person should have the ability to organize the entire program and work seamlessly with other team members. When selecting the remainder of the committee, you should make sure to include employees from different departments. These individuals will play a critical role in keeping their respective teams up to date with emerging program developments.

  1. Conduct research.

With your team in place, you will need to do research to determine what type of recycling program your office will require. You should start by conducting an audit of your company’s current waste management system. Doing so will allow you to carefully assess what types of waste you produce and how much of it you throw away. As part of this assessment, you will also need to conduct a review of your office trash cans. Knowing where they are located and how well employees are using them will help you create a recycling program that addresses any current shortcomings.

If your recycling committee needs assistance with the waste audit, then you should consider enlisting the help of outside entities. Though some municipalities offer free waste assessment services to nearby businesses, you may need to hire a recycling collector or special consultant.

  1. Pick a hauler.

garbage truck

Unless you plan on transporting your office’s recyclables directly to your local facility, you will need to work with a local recycling company. Your first step should be to contact the complex in which your office is situated to see if any other tenants receive recycling services. If this is the case, you can easily arrange for collection at your own office. If not, then you will need to select a hauler that will serve only your workplace. Try contacting your existing waste management center to see if it offers recycling services. Otherwise, you should consider using a local commercial or independent hauler.

  1. Acquire the necessary equipment.

Your recycling program won’t be a success unless you obtain all the equipment that your office will need. As a result of completing your waste audit, you should have a good estimate of how many bins you will need to place around the workplace. While you can purchase pre-made recycling containers from local stores, you should first determine whether your recycling collector will provide you with receptacles.

Once you have your bins, you should make sure to place them in optimal locations. You should pair all trash cans with recycling bins, especially if they are in locations that employees frequently visit. To provide your workers with even easier access to a recycling bin, you should place one at every desk.

  1. Establish goals.

Before launching your office recycling program, you will need to formulate a plan that enables you to set attainable goals. Where you would like the office to be in terms of sustainability in six months or one year from now? Depending on your office’s unique goals, you might have to start off with a small program that includes only one or two recyclables and expand it over time.

  1. Get everyone involved.

group meeting

When it comes time to kick off your recycling program, you will need to make sure that everyone in the office is on board. You should help the program start off strong by hosting a launch event for the whole team. During this time, you can educate staff members about the program and how they can participate. You should also take this time to hand out reusable coffee mugs and recycling equipment to your team. To generate additional excitement about the program, you can host fun activities that inform your team about recycling and increase their enthusiasm about being involved.

  1. Monitor and congratulate success.

As your office recycling plan flourishes, it is important that you keep all staff members involved by informing everyone of its success. Whenever you hit one of your program’s goals, you should send out a memo to the entire company to inform people of your collective progress. You can even engage the local community by publishing press releases about your recycling achievements.

An even better way to continually promote your office recycling initiative is to recognize and congratulate the individuals who have helped make it a success. For example, you can honor those who make the largest contributions to the recycling program with a personalized letter from the CEO, a special recycling award, or a public announcement at an upcoming meeting.