4 Tips To Improve Your Workplace Recycling Program

Posted on: 11 October 2021


Public focus on environmentalism is higher than ever, and promoting a green workplace is a trend that is growing across every industry. Even if your company recycling program seems to tick all the right boxes, it may not see widespread adoption among your employees unless it is simple, actionable, and trackable. This guide will share four tips to improve workplace recycling programs that every company can benefit from.

1. Audit Your Recycling Stations

You may be surprised to learn that the placement of your recycling bins can have a big impact on employee compliance with your company recycling program. A quality workplace recycling program will include regular audits to ensure recycling stations are accessible to employees and that they are being used. An audit will inform you when your workplace is underperforming at recycling because employees simply cannot locate recycling bins.

Many employers approach recycling by placing a recycling bin and trash can at each employee's desk or cubicle so that they can conveniently dispose of any type of waste. However, this approach may not place enough emphasis on recycling to be effective. One study found that employees made greater use of recycling and had a better experience when provided with a large recycling bin and a small trash bin rather than two equal-sized bins.

2. Reduce Incoming Waste

Recycling waste is only half the battle, and a well-designed recycling program will also focus on reducing your company's incoming waste. The first of the three R's of sustainability, reducing waste in a business context involves working with your vendors and manufacturers to increase the number of recyclable products and materials used by your company.

Going paperless is a classic example of reducing waste in the office. While going completely paperless isn't practical for many businesses, there are likely several points in your day-to-day operations where paper can be reduced or eliminated. Use email or other digital communications as much as possible for memos, announcements, and other communications, and make sure all your printers are set to print on both sides of the paper.

3. Use Recycling Knowledge Apps

One of the biggest challenges in recycling is separating materials and knowing what can and cannot be recycled. Clear messaging from your company and informative materials such as signs will help to educate your employees, but these methods are far from guaranteed to promote compliance from your entire workforce. Instead, many employers have found success with a more interactive solution: recycling knowledge apps.

Recycling knowledge apps can answer your employees' most common questions about proper recycling practices instantly. Many apps even allow users to query a database of recyclable items in real-time to determine if their waste is recyclable. These apps empower employees to educate themselves about recycling without the need to consult company policy.

4. Set Monthly Recycling Goals

Any attempt to improve compliance with company policy needs to have specific, measurable goals so that employees and business owners can gauge their progress. Setting a monthly recycling target for your company makes it easy to compare this month's recycling to that of previous months so you can see the impact of your program on your company's waste production.

Pairing defined recycling goals with rewards for employees who meet these metrics will get employees engaged in a game-like way. Rewarding your best recyclers with small bonuses, free lunches, or other rewards can promote friendly competition that is also good for the environment.

Building a better recycling program for your workplace is a process that won't happen overnight, but the cost savings and a healthy environment make it a goal worth pursuing. Use these tips to improve your recycling program so your company can join the green workplace revolution! Reach out to a recycling solutions company like Mid America Paper Recycling Co for more ideas.