A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Recycling Program in Your Office

Could your company improve how they manage waste and recyclables? Companies all across the United States are reducing waste by implementing recycling programs within their own offices. Many offices use a lot of paper every day, which means they can make a major difference to the environment when they choose to recycle.

If you’re interested in starting a recycling initiative in your office, use this guide to create a successful program.

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Assemble a Recycling Team

You may not have time to implement an entire recycling program for your company. If you don’t have time, delegate the responsibility to an employee. Choose an employee who is passionate about recycling, a good communicator and will get the job done.

Larger organizations may need to create a recycling team with employees from various departments. Representation from each department is important to ensure the recycling program is successful throughout the company and not just in one department. Include employees from all levels of the company, from senior managers to custodians…to everyone in-between!

Each employee you select will be a part of a recycling team that will be in charge of coordinating, implementing and managing the recycling initiative at your workplace. Instruct this recycling team to set goals for the company, educate other employees and track the company’s progress.

Create a Plan

Determine which recyclable materials your company uses the most. Then, set goals for how much of each material your company will recycle. Collaborate on best methods to collect and remove recyclable materials in the workplace.

You may need to check with your recycling agency to determine which materials can co-mingle in one recycling bin. Also, include names of those who will collect the recycling bins and how frequently.

Spread the Word

Your employees will often make or break your recycling program. Do your best to involve, inform and motivate your employees to ensure a successful recycling initiative. Launch your recycling program by presenting the benefits of recycling, identifying the items that employees can recycle and reviewing the recycling goals for your company as a whole.

After the presentation, post signs near recycling containers to indicate which materials should go into the recycling container. Make the signs colorful to draw your employees’ attention. You could even organize a recycling competition between each department to help motivate employees.

Make Recycling Easy

The easier you make recycling for your employees, the more likely they will recycle. Consider the size and location for each recycling bin in the workplace. It may be appropriate to place a recycling bin next to each garbage can in your office. Make sure the recycling bins are distinguishable from the garbage cans. Otherwise, employees may get confused and throw garbage into recycling bins.

Additionally, you might place recycling bins in places like break rooms, hallways, desk areas, copy rooms and vending machine areas as well. Place smaller recycling bins in places where fewer materials are used and place larger recycling bins in places that frequently dispose of recyclables.

Announce Recycling Successes

A great way to motivate employees to recycle is by announcing each success. You can share achievements like reaching a recycling goal by sending out an email to all employees, notifying them of the company’s success. You might even include success stories in a regular newsletter.

In any announcement of success, praise specific employees for their participation and remind employees of the benefits of recycling. If a few employees have made especially noteworthy contributions, consider sending each one a personal letter from the company’s president or CEO.

Along with celebrating recycling success, publicize the achievements to media, customers and stakeholders. Include a recycling page on your company’s website and inform viewers of the initiative and accomplishments your company has made. Your company can inspire other organizations through a successful recycling initiative.

Use these tips to organize a successful recycling program for your company. If you have any additional questions about recycling, feel free to contact us at Questions@LRSrecycles.com or call 773.685.8811. All of us at Lakeshore Recycling Systems understand the undertaking when creating a more sustainable footprint, but we know that with your help we can create an impact on the earth and inspire a greener future.