By following these easy steps you and your coworkers will be recycling in no time!
1. Get the Team Committed
- Get a group of pro-recyclers together to help drive change in your workplace.
- Consider people from multiple departments to aid in the success of your recycling program.
- Have a Team Leader who will be the person of contact and lead coordination of recycling initiatives.
2. Find Out What You Can Recycle
- Consider conducting a waste audit to learn exactly what items in your workplace can be recycled or thrown away. This is a key step to understanding your recycling needs.
- Common workplace recyclables include:
- Paper (e.g. copy/printer paper, newspaper, brochures, magazines)
- Cardboard (e.g. boxes–copy paper, office supplies)
- Beverage containers (e.g. plastic and glass bottles and cans)
- Electronics (e.g. computers, cell phones rechargeable batteries, printer cartridges)
3. Choose a Recycling Hauler
- Often the company who picks up your trash offers recycling pickup services as well. Contact your trash hauler to see if they have recycling services available.
- If you need help finding a recycling hauler, review our Recycling for Businesses, Institutions, and Nonprofits page.
4. Organize Collection Procedures Inside the Office
- Be sure to have enough deskside recycling bins for each workstation. Place deskside recycling bins within arm’s reach.
- Be sure to include larger recycling bins for communal areas such as copy machine areas and kitchen/break rooms.
- Label recycling bins with the words, “Recycle,” or “Recycling Only.”
- On the bin or a nearby wall, post an accepted materials list.
- The easier it is to identify the recycling bin and what can go in it, the higher participation will be.
- Identify who will be responsible for collecting the recyclables and transporting them to the exterior collection container.
- Provide custodians with collection procedure instructions or develop a plan with employees to share recycling collection duties.
- Remember, try to make recycling collection as easy as possible, different work areas may need different procedures.
5. Educate and Share Success
- Communicate with coworkers success of the program.
- Share recycling tips, instructions and successes via email, staff meetings, newsletters, posters on bulletin boards, etc.
- Consider completing another Waste Audit to determine changes in your waste stream.
- Encourage other departments and/or organizations to start a recycling program.
6. Go the Extra Step
- Purchase office supplies made from recycled content such as paper and pens. Browse our recycled goods database.
- Be sure to recycle electronics and empty toner cartridges or donate old office furniture and equipment. Find places that reuse and recycle items beyond the blue bin.