Recycling In The Workplace
5 Tips for Starting an Office Recycling Program
Are you looking to start an office recycling program but aren’t sure where to begin? Pam Boatwright, River Star Business Programs Manager at the Elizabeth River Project in Portsmouth, has the solution. She works with dozens of businesses to help them become better stewards of the environment and is passionate about recycling. The following five tips, courtesy of Boatwright, will get your office’s recycling program up and running in no time.
1. Partner with the pros. To start your business’s recycling program, contact a local recycling company. These companies know every detail about the recycling process and will work with you to establish a pickup schedule for your company.
2. Figure out what you will be recycling. Not everything is recyclable. Copy paper and aluminum cans qualify, but the paper napkins and greasy pizza boxes left over from the company lunch don’t. The recycling company you partner with will give you a list of items they accept for recycling. Start small, and don’t try to do too much too soon. Focus on recycling the most common items in your office, such as paper and plastic, and add more as time goes on.
3. Spread the word. Hold a quick training demonstration for your staff to explain what is and isn’t recyclable. Educational posters placed above recycling containers throughout the office act as helpful reminders.
4. Make it easy. Don’t put the recycling bins in the deepest, darkest corner of the office. Use brightly colored containers for recycling, and place them next to employees’ desks and work stations, next to the copy machine, in the kitchen and in the conference room.
5. Reap the rewards. Some recyclable items are worth cold, hard cash, including aluminum cans. Hold a can drive throughout the year, and then reward your team with a party to thank them for their dedication to improving the environment. Or take a vote and donate the money to a nonprofit chosen by staff members.
By Jamie McAllister