5 tips for starting a recycling program in your workplace …
Many businesses already have a recycling plan in place. It may just need a helpful nudge to get it going again. Any recycling plan can benefit from having someone or even a group of people keep it going through regular monitoring and by getting the support of staff and management.
Answer these questions:
- How much and what type of waste does your business generate?
- Do you have the right containers for your recycling?
- If you have a private waste disposal service, do they have reduced rates for recycling?
- If you already have a recycling program in place, is it really working?
- Who from your organization will be involved in implementing any changes to improve your recycling program?
Once you are familiar with the current program and your service needs, determine how you can improve the program. Some common changes include expanding a program to include new materials, changing collection containers, or working internally to increase participation and compliance.
Key questions to ask include:
- Are recycling containers adequate and clearly labeled?
- Do staff members understand the recycling program and its benefits?
- Can recycling be made easier to increase participation?
- Can trash services and costs be reduced through more recycling or reduced waste generation?
- Can you add materials to your recycling program?
- Can you save money by reducing waste upfront by buying less or switching from disposable to reusable products?
If you already have a solid waste hauler, call your account representative to discuss ways to modify existing services. If your solid waste hauler is not able to help you, you should contact other haulers. Before you make any changes, find out if you have an existing contract and when the contract is scheduled to expire.
- Know the materials you want to recycle and estimate the volume if you can.
- Ask how your items need to be prepared for pick up.
- Make sure the hauler can assure you that the materials will be properly handled once collected.
- Find out if the hauler offers onsite waste audits, indoor collection containers, signage, educational materials, or training to help improve your program.
- Ask how your hauler can help you save money through reduced disposal costs.
For larger organizations, a Green Team with a diverse cross-section of departmental members can help the program implementation succeed. Communication, signage, and proper employee training are crucial to success. Involve the people who will be handling the material as much as possible in the planning stages. If a third-party service is involved, bring them into the process.
Setting up or improving your recycling or composting program can be tricky. If you need help setting up your workplace recycling program call us at (703) 257-8256 or send us an email. The City of Manassas is always ready to help businesses recycle. It’s cost-effective for your workplace and better for you, your community, and the environment.