Save Resources: The average office worker throws away four pounds of high-grade recyclable paper every week. Recycling one ton of paper saves the equivalent of 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil and 7,000 gallons of water.
Extend the Life of the Landfill: Landfills are very expensive to build and maintain. One ton of paper occupies 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
Reduce Waste Disposal Costs for your Business: The less hauled off, the more you save. The more you recycle, the less your company pays for waste disposal. Balance recycling costs by paying less for disposal.
How to Start Recycling in Your Office
Assess the Discards
Conduct an audit to determine the amount and types of materials that are recoverable or recyclable. For most offices this will mean a variety of papers. An audit also provides information about where most of the recyclables are generated in the company. Records from the local recycling company may be helpful to understand any material fluctuations or cycles.
Target Materials for Recycling
Identify all materials that are potentially recyclable. Evaluate how much could be recycled, and how recyclables might best be separated for collection. Target those materials that are most abundant in the recycling stream and would be the easiest to separate for recovery.
Talk to Your Recycling Company
Your recycling company can provide information about the types of materials they accept for recycling. Work with them to determine how recycling specific materials might impact your current hauling contract, services and costs. If your company is a tenant in a large office building, the building owners or management company may contract with the recycling company. If the recycling company is not able to accept the materials you want to recycle, contact a local recycling center. Smaller companies may also want to consider drop-off recycling.
Engage & Coach Employees
Employees make a recycling program happen. They are a recycling program’s most valuable assets. Educate employees, talk up the recycling program, and get the word out. Communicate positively, clearly, and often.
Get Management Support
Gain the support of your company’s top management for a recycling program. Before going to management, arm yourself with information and data that shows program value or identifies a need to improve an existing recycling program.
Measure & Share Results
Track results to show the merits of recycling and motivate employees. When management and employees see progress, momentum for the recycling program will take off. Achieving recycling goals, lowering costs, realizing environmental benefits, or improving participation are all opportunities to show off program successes.
Track the Amount of Recycled Material
Work with the recycling company to gather this information regularly, such as monthly. Use a database or other system to record and store data.
If your business needs help starting a workplace recycling program, let us know. We are available to come to your office to evaluate your current recycling options, give presentations to management or staff, and provide educational materials.