Recycling at home is something that most people participate in – nearly all communities offer some sort of recycling service and the majority of citizens engage due to the knowledge that recycling helps to protect the environment. Separate bins for paper and glass often sit right next to the trash bin – and maybe even the compost pile!
But have you noticed how recycling is handled in your place of work – is it as easy and convenient as it is at home? Do your colleagues make an effort to recycle their soda cans and paper, or does it all go in the little trash can under their desks? While many companies are conscious of the importance of sustainability, not every business or employee is perfect. Here are some great tips to encourage your company and colleagues to recycle more often and more efficiently.
Place designated recycling bins around the office
The first step for any workplace when it comes to promoting recycling is to have clearly labeled bins specifically for recyclable materials, including glass, plastic, metal and paper. Most people associate blue bins with recyclables, so try to have these right next to the traditional waste bins. There are also mini-recyclable bins that attach to traditional under-desk waste baskets – approach management about ordering these small bins, reminding them that it will encourage more recycling and give note to the night cleaning staff that those items belong in a separate waste container.
Make recycling a company-wide team effort
People are more interested in sustainability than ever before, and there may be others in your office that feel the same way you do. Setting up a dedicated team of colleagues that are interested in increasing recycling efforts in your office will help to promote awareness and show the company that you’re serious about sustainability. Many people love contests, so creating some sort of incentive for reducing waste output among employees could also garner interest. Encouraging management to purchase recycled paper for the copiers and printers is also an excellent way to support sustainability company-wide.
Ensure e-waste is properly recycled
Electronic waste (e-waste), such as old computers, CRT monitors and other unwanted or broken electric devices cannot simply be tossed in the dumpster with traditional trash. These devices contain many precious metals, toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials that can endanger the health of the environment and its inhabitants. Ask your building manager how e-waste is dealt with – if there isn’t a solid plan in place, suggest one! Legitimate e-waste processing plants can safely recycle broken phones, printers and other devices and ensure environmentally friendly practices are followed. If your company is not utilizing one of these services, make an effort to get your office’s e-waste dealt with properly.
Remind the company of the social benefits of sustainable practices
More than ever, consumers are paying close attention to how companies do business, from where they source their materials overseas to how much they pay employees in their stores. People are looking for products and services that come from a socially conscious and environmentally responsible business that is transparent about its practices. When promoting recycling and other sustainability initiatives at your place of work, remind people that it’s not just the environment that is benefiting – but the company as well. Not only will reducing waste output potentially save the company money, but it can also be a great example of their dedication to environmentalism and social causes.