How to Recycle More at Work
Society has never been more conscious and aware of the importance of recycling at work. Lots of waste is created in the workplace, from paper to plastics and even WEEE. The Paperless Project states that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year. 45% of the paper used by office workers are then put in the general waste bin at the end of the day and not recycled.
No matter the size of the business that you work in, you have to implement some form of recycling – it’s the law. However, it’s up to you how much you choose to remind your workers of the importance of recycling and how often you push them to recycle their waste correctly. An at-work total waste management plan will help provide you with the means to recycle, as well as divert your collected waste away from landfills so that it can be recycled properly. But, it is down to you to get your employees involved in this process and actively recycling their waste.
Keep reading for the simple steps on how you can encourage your workers to recycle at work and support the total waste management plan that you want to put in place. Recycling is essential for the environment, but it also helps make your brand look better to potential consumers as a more sustainable business.
To begin your at-work waste management plan, you need to start off small. If you provide your workers with a bin under their desks, most will use it for general waste. Everything from paper to food packaging will end up in there, reducing the number of recyclables. You need to cut back on the general waste bins that you provide at the desks and instead, centralise your bins. On the different office floors, place a general waste bin on one and on the other floors, the various recycling bins can be found. If workers have to get up from their desk to throw their waste away, they’re more likely to dispose of their waste in the correct bin.
Food makes up 28% of the total waste that grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, food manufacturers, food distributors and commercial kitchens send to the landfill annually. To reduce this percentage in a non-office workplace, you need to ensure that your workers have access to recycling bins. Kitchens should have space for bins under worktops or in corners where they can be accessed quickly during such a fast-paced environment. Cooking in a restaurant can often be busy and stressful, so if you want workers to recycle correctly, then you need to make it as easy as possible for them.
Having the bins available for people to use is one thing, but making your employees aware of them is another. Post signs around the office detailing the location of the new bins, and why you have a total waste management plan in place. If people understand the morals behind this change, they are more likely to agree with it and cooperate. But, if you remove their general waste bins without telling them, they may oppose.
Also, sending an email to your team informing them of what waste goes in which bin would be helpful, too. There should be a sign nearby the bins which highlight this too so that people don’t throw away waste in the wrong waste streams. If disposed of incorrectly, you can contaminate the streams and make your recycling attempts futile. Over time, workers will know what to dispose of and where, but at the start, you need to be reminding and supporting your employees in their recycling attempts.
It’s time to start thinking of creative ways in which you can encourage and support your workers recycling efforts. For instance, at CleanRiver, every new employee receives a reusable lunch bag and Tupperware. These can sometimes be seen as an extra expense to your team members and instead, they will buy food from the shop which already comes packaged. The tubs and reusable bags encourage them to make their food at home, thus reducing food and packaging waste.
Alternatively, you could encourage recycling through competition. You can challenge separate offices and departments to recycle more than the other. Keep track in any way that you want; whether that’s counting full bins every week or keeping track on a chart. At the end of each quarter or year, you can reward the office who wins, encouraging everybody to recycle more.
At-Work Total Waste Management Plan
Fresco Environmental can help you create and implement an at-work total waste management plan. No matter the size of your business, we can create a unique strategy to maximise the recycling of your waste. We can supply you with wheelie bins, Front End Loaders, balers and much, much more to help ensure that your waste is collected, separated and ready for us to manage accordingly.
Once we have the recycling, we divert it away from landfills and take it to be recycled. Landfills are harmful to the environment; producing toxic gas and destroying habitats to make room for more landfill sites. Over 1,000 old landfill sites on the coasts of England Wales are at risk of being breached by erosion, posing a severe pollution danger and a threat to wildlife and bathing waters. Fresco is all for saving the environment and helping businesses contribute positively to recycling, thus reducing the negative impact of waste on the environment.
Check out our website today to learn more about Fresco Environmental and how we can create, support and carry out an at-work total waste management plan for your business. We work with every company individually to create a plan based on their specific needs and are continually looking at how we can alter our services to suit your business as it evolves.