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Helpful Tips To Get Your Office Employees To Recycle

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If you are the facility manager of an office building, you may be interested in finding ways to motivate the employees in your facility to reduce the amount of trash they dispose of and recycle. As everyone knows, recycling is good for the environment, but it can also help cut down on costs of trash removal services. 

The average annual cost of a 6-yard dumpster in New Jersey was $3,468 in 2014. It's been estimated that 75% of waste is recyclable but only 30% of waste is actually recycled. By implementing an improved recycling program in your office building, you could effectively cut down on the dumpster size needed to handle the waste your employees generate and help your facility save money. 

Here are a few ideas to get the employees recycling! 

Clearly label the bins

One of the main reasons why people don't recycle and use the trash can instead is because it's too confusing. In a busy office environment, people may be in too big of a hurry to try to figure out which containers to put their recyclables in, or they may have other things on their minds that are more important to them. Sometimes, the guidelines for trash and recycling in the office can be different from what the employees may be accustomed to at home or from their previous workplace. 

Regardless of the reason, make it easier to recycle by clearly labeling the recycle bins. Here are a few things to consider when labeling. 

  • Securely attach waterproof or coated labels to the bins with two-sided tape.
  • If your facility is multi-lingual, it's a good idea to label the bins with easy-to-understand pictures. 
  • Don't use specific colors for each type of recyclable material, especially if neighboring municipalities use different colors. 

With all the bins labeled, strategically place the trash and recycling containers only where they are needed. 

Make doing the wrong thing more difficult

Make it more difficult for your employees to use the wrong container. This will help make it easier for them to use the correct ones. For example, the waste baskets for each desk should be large enough to throw paper scraps and small materials into but too small to dispose of multiple sheets of paper, soda cans, or water bottles. Another example is to use a lid with an appropriately-sized hole in the lid for the aluminum can recycling container. This prevents your employees from being able to dump their trays or plates into the aluminum can recycling bin. 

Hold competitions between the departments

Sometimes, a little competition in the office is great for motivation, even when it comes to recycling. The departments can compete to see which one is the best at recycling. This can be done to jump-start your recycling efforts or on a monthly, seasonal, or annual basis.

You can offer rewards to give them more incentive to do a good job. Here are a few ideas for the types of rewards you can offer. 

  • Snacks and munchies
  • An office party
  • An hour or two of time off
  • Dress-down day
  • Donation to the department's favorite charity

To accomplish this, you'll first need to do a waste management analysis of all the trash and recycling that occurs in each department throughout the building. Your trash removal and recycling service can perform this task, which consists of analyzing the contents, weighing them, and annotating them in the appropriate categories. The analysis will be done again at the end of the competition and compared to the first analysis. Any subsequent competition results will be compared to the previous results and so on.

Contact a professional waste removal service for more info on recycling options and improving recycling at your facility.