Implementing Eco-friendly practices in the office can be challenging. People naturally find it easier to recycle at home but may have difficulty finding the time to recycle in the office. This might be because of the higher levels of control and convenience in our homes versus in the office. However, it is imperative that we all do our part and cut down on pollution for a cleaner environment. Your office and all its employees can play a significant role in this effort if you follow our recommendations and implement the policies below.
Educate Workers on Office Recycling Basics
Questions and confusion often arise when discussing recycling in the workplace. Before discussing tips on how to improve your recycling program in the office, it’s important to understand the basics of recycling and to educate your workers. If your employees remember to ask themselves some common questions while recycling, they can stay on par with the recycling basics and improve their own recycling efforts.
Around 30% of what gets recycled in containers doesn’t always belong. Many of the things that people throw in the recycling bin are often wishful thinking. We hope the item will get recycled correctly once on the truck. However, many of the things that get recycled can soil a whole truckload. Wishful thinking takes away from the recycling process.
The typical recycling categories are paper, cans, and bottles. You can also include cardboard and double-check with your local municipality on what is accepted in each category. As a general rule, employees should recycle paper, cans, bottles into each of their categories. They should also know to keep liquid and fluids out of the recycling bins, and they should double-check to make sure there are no loose bags in the containers.
Last, It’s important to try to recycle things that are of regular size. Smaller items like can tabs can get stuck in recycling processing machines. Therefore, your employees should ask themselves if the item is too small to be recycled. If it is, they should be instructed to toss it in the trash and not in recycling bins.
Once your employees understand the basics of recycling, you can make things easier for them and give them more opportunities to recycle by following the tips below.
Make Recycling Convenient
Remember that anywhere a trashcan goes, a recycling bin can be right beside it. When the opportunity to recycle cans, paper, and bottles increases, office workers will all start to fall in line and throw things away correctly.
Minimize Recycling Confusion
Next, you can add a note near recycling bins. This helps to easily convey to others what is accepted in each bin near the trash can. Office-specific items like cardboard boxes are collected in trucks and taken to an appropriate location that reinforces a positive direction in the landfills. You can always convey to your office workers what items are specific to fitting in each recycling bin.
For example, if someone has a chip bag, the material may not be eligible for recycling, while an envelope or a cardboard box could be. With a short breakdown of what is accepted in recycling bins noted near the bin, the knowledge and education on recycling increases, and so does the opportunity to place the item in the correct location.
While recycling policies are important, your office’s green practices can go beyond by focusing on items that can be reclaimed and repurposed. When getting rid of old and unused items, your employees should be encouraged to ask themselves if the item can be used in a charitable donation or a local thrift store instead of in a landfill. If your office includes item collection stations on sight, employees will have easy opportunities to give their unwanted items a second life.
Reduce Plastic Waste
Another opportunity is to consider different drinking water solutions. Instead of offering water bottles, the office can add in a bottleless workplace water cooler. This will reduce the amount of plastic waste your office creates, reducing the amount of items your office will need to recycle significantly.
Overall, placing more importance on recycling in your office can not only improve environmental outcomes, but it can also help reduce costs on unnecessary resources like a broken recycling machine or unnecessary water bottles floating around the office. If your office encourages employees to reduce, reuse, and recycle more, they will take more personal approaches to embedding recycling habits into their day-to-day lives, both inside and outside the office.
Upgrade to Greener Business Water Coolers in Austin
While improved recycling efforts are always a good thing, nothing beats eliminating the cause of office waste in the first place. One of the biggest offenders here is plastic bottles, so why not upgrade to a bottleless drinking water solution? Contact us today to learn how a point-of-use water cooler can help reduce waste in your office.