How to Start a Recycling Program at Work

As entrepreneurs and managers, it’s not just our job to look after the welfare of our employees; we must also look after their work environment. After all, a clean workplace does wonders to raise worker productivity as well as help the planet. There are various benefits to sustainability—such as cutting the costs of resources, establishing a positive company image, and bringing the team together to pursue a common goal. If you want to embrace more sustainable practices in your office, begin the process by learning how to start a recycling program at work.


Create a Sustainability Team

Like any solid work program, there needs to be an established team behind it that is dedicated to maintaining it and keeping it running. As such, it’s crucial that you put together a recycling or sustainability team for your efforts to succeed. The individuals you choose could be volunteers, or you can select someone to spearhead the operation. Either way, this team must understand this program’s importance.


Determine How Much Waste is Produced

In order to create an effective recycling method for the office, you need to first gain an understanding of what type of and how much waste is produced. This might involve monitoring what each person throws away or categorizing the waste in the average trash bin. Make sure you note what type of waste it is to determine what items are most commonly thrown away in your office. If you notice that the dominant source of waste is plastic, for instance, focus on these items in your recycling plan. These products can cause a series of harmful effects, and these effects can easily be avoided by disposing of said products properly.


Develop a Recycling System

Whether you decide to include all recycling in one bin or separate them by type, the process is up to you—so long as it’s easy to understand. No matter how effective your process would be, it won’t work if your employees can’t understand it or get frustrated by it. Because of this, it’s often recommended that an office categorize bins by waste, recycling, and compost to clearly define the difference between each type of trash. This, paired with images of what each bin takes, helps create a mutual understanding and raises the system’s chances of success.


Inform Your Janitorial Team

Before officially launching your recycling program, make sure you notify your janitorial team of the change. This ensures that they don’t negate your hard work by throwing all the bags in the same dumpster. Talking to these professionals could also alert you to other waste trends in your office and help you figure out new ways to hone the system over time.