Nowadays, more and more organizations are stepping up their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their impact on the environment. But there’s always room for improvement when it comes to waste management. One of the easiest ways for companies to be more sustainable is to improve their recycling efforts. Recycling is quite effective in positively impacting the planet because it can reduce the amount of waste generated in the manufacturing process and disposed to landfills. In the EU, the average individual generates 500 kilograms of municipal waste per capita annually. Even minor improvements can go a long way in preserving natural ecosystems, reducing carbon footprint, and lowering the amount of waste in landfills.
This article provides recommendations of the changes businesses can make to improve their corporate recycling efforts to have a greater contribution to sustainability.
Create locations where your employees can properly dispose of waste
Create collection and recycling areas in easy-to-access and convenient places. You don’t want to transform recycling into another task they must complete, but something at hand. For example, you can install containers for recycling paper in all workspaces, copy rooms, and high-traffic areas. Recycling bins for plastic should be found around the headquarters because most items are made from plastic these days. Suppose your business generates large amounts of a particular material. In that case, you can use devices like Miltek waste balers and assign a team of workers to take the waste from the recycling areas to the balers’ location.
Notify all staff members of the recycling and collection areas and encourage them to use them.
Audit your recycling locations
You developed the recycling spots; now what? Are you sure they’re as visible as intended? Find out if your employees know where they’re supposed to take each item they want to dispose of. Do a company survey to get to the bottom of the issue and determine how effective your recycling bin locations are.
Don’t be surprised if you placed some bins in the wrong spots the first time because it’s challenging to identify the ideal locations before evaluating workers’ habits and patterns. You’ll be able to tell if they’re accessible to all employees only after installing them. A survey can tell if confused workers need directions to find the designated recycling locations.
You can optimize the recycling bin locations using several methods. Don’t just change the old spots; ask your employees what obstacles they experience and make an educated decision.
– Make sure you install enough recycling bins according to your number of employees and office size
– Separate bins by materials
– Place them in easily-accessible areas
– Install recycling cans near usage spots (kitchen, break room, copy room)
Appoint green team leaders
While all employees should be involved in your recycling efforts, a team of green team leaders can keep recycling on track and streamline the operations. They have the role of middleman between management and recycling and are the first people your staff address when they have queries and questions about the corporate approach of sustainability and recycling.
Composting has become mainstream for both corporate and residential properties. If your company generates organic waste, you can create a compost pile where you dispose of organic waste and create nutritive fertilizer for the soil in your community.
Get an app that tells your employees what can be recycled
A common problem with corporate recycling is that the staff doesn’t know how to recycle and how. Studies show that people worry they don’t correctly recycle things. It makes sense to help your workers figure out what items they can collect and recycle. Invest in an app that tells your employees what can be recycled and in what bin it should land. You should also organize training sessions to educate them about recyclable materials to identify them easily.
An intuitive app can provide them with the needed knowledge to make a difference.
Promote a paper-conscious policy
The average workplace generates several types of waste, but it most often produces tonnes of paper and plastic trash. You cannot improve your recycling program without developing a straightforward paper-conscious policy. Mindlessly printing has to go, and your policy should ensure that your staff makes an effort to digitize their communications and data storage as much as possible. Paper recycling reduces climate change and enhances carbon sequestration, so it has a real impact on the environment.
Some ways to promote paper recycling are:
– Educate workers on the environmental, economic, and social impact of paper use
– Print paper on both sides
– Use recycled paper
Buy products made from recycled supplies
Making your business greener makes sure your recycling program saves your organization money. This may require some sleuthing on the management part. Audit your suppliers to find out how many of them use recycled materials and look for alternatives where possible. Most items made from recycled materials are cheaper, benefiting your company’s budget. Before switching to another supplier, investigate the cost of recycled materials for your company and document what replacing standard products with recycled ones implies.
Recycling programs are more effective when companies make changes on the economic level because they support operations and profitability.
Organise recycling challenges
You’ve announced your recycling program, promoted it among your staff, and organized training sessions to encourage employees to change their habits, but it still seems like some of them don’t really care about it. What should you do to get better results? Make recycling a challenge that earns them a prize. A challenge has benefits for both your employees and the environment. What if the top monthly recycler leaves two hours early for a Friday? Studies show that friendly competition in the workplace can motivate staff to put in more effort.
Recognize everyone’s participation and provide rewards for the employees who perform best. Your workers will inspire each other when they can win an attainable prize.
The listed improvements can become part of your corporate culture and help your employees take responsibility for recycling.