Whatever the size of your business, you’re likely generating a significant amount of waste every day. As society grows more and more aware of the benefits of recycling, and people become more sensitive to waste in general, companies are thinking harder about improving recycling rates in the office environment. But how can this be achieved? Let’s take a look.
Establish a recycling regime
It’s true that every little helps when it comes to recycling, but for real change, it’s vital that you establish a company-wide recycling regime. This is a multi-step process, but one that will fundamentally change the way you and your employees think about waste in the workplace.
Start with a survey/waste audit to gauge how well your office currently recycles. From there you’ll be able to see what improvements can be made – while also raising awareness across your company.
Easily accessible bins
The key to successful office recycling is making it easy for your employees. If you haven’t already, then invest in proper recycling bins and place them in easy-to-access locations around the office. Simply placing ‘recycling point’ bins next to ‘general waste’ bins will open up more recycling opportunities for workers. Having these bins clearly labelled, too, will ensure everyone knows what goes where.
Keep awareness high
Following the initial push when you introduce your recycling regime, there will be an expected drop off in recycling rates in your office. To maintain the momentum, you need to focus on awareness. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Recycling posters – Create eye-catching posters and pin them up around the office to give employees a handy visual reminder to guide them.
- Go digital – As your plan takes shape, send regular emails to keep employees up to date. This also gives them a chance to get involved by suggesting ideas or providing feedback. Once everything’s set up, send a digital handbook to explain exactly what’s changed, why a recycling programme has been introduced, how employees can engage with it and how it might expand in the future.
- Turn recycling into a branding opportunity – Recycling is all about efficiency, and what’s more efficient in the business world than turning internal schemes into external branding opportunities? Introduce branded reusable coffee mugs for employees to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable cups thrown out in the office. Not only will this keep recycling in the minds of employees, but each reusable cup is a mobile advert for your business.
Why should my office recycle?
It’s true that establishing a recycling programme from scratch is a challenge, but the benefits of commercial recycling are more than worth it. Let’s run through some of the most important benefits:
- Less waste sent to landfill – The more you recycle, the less you have to rely on landfill sites – which are close to capacity across the UK. This helps to avoid recyclable materials being thrown out and handled improperly, and also reduces transport costs and the environmental damage associated with waste transportation.
- Better for your reputation – A successful recycling programme can really boost your business’ reputation – with consumers and within the industry. This can then be adapted into your marketing plans, and can even inform the expansion, direction and ‘personality’ of your company, effectively future-proofing your business as more and more people get involved with recycling.
- Saving energy – By choosing to recycle, you’re directly impacting the amount of energy that goes into manufacturing, shipping and disposing of sustainable goods. Aluminium is a good example; by recycling aluminium products – cans, for instance – you use less that 5% of the energy needed to create one from scratch. This is where the true environmental benefits of recycling lie, and with so much business waste coming from any commercial office, just think about how a proper recycling regime can reduce wider energy demands.
At Hintons’ Waste, we aim to recycle 90% of all the waste we collect throughout London, Croydon, Sutton and beyond. As experienced waste management specialists, we can provide efficient commercial recycling services, including office clear outs if you’re planning to move offices. We can also advise on what is and is not recyclable in the office, and our commercial WEEE recycling service will help you dispose of electrical office waste with complete responsibility. For more information, simply contact us today.