Dear Recycling Bins: Our Weekly Recycling Advice Column
Welcome to our weekly advice column where we look at all things recycling and give you the answers you’re desperately seeking.
Dear Recycling Bins,
I have my own business and I’m always shocked to see how much rubbish we throw away. I’m always nagging my team to be less wasteful because I know that the more waste we throw away, the more of our profits are going down the drain. But then again, I know I don’t lead by example. I recycle religiously at home then when it comes to the workplace, I’m just always so busy dealing with something that I just forget.
How can we recycle more as a business and what can I do to get my team on board?
A boss with sustainable aspirations
Dear boss with sustainable aspirations,
It’s amazing how many people recycle consistently at home but forget about it once they get into work. So what’s behind this? Well it’s mainly down to the fact that once people get down to work, they’re too busy to think about it. Other reasons for people not recycling at work include uncertainty about what they can recycle or a lack of proper recycling facilities in the workplace.
But when nobody makes the effort to recycle, this can cost businesses dearly. The less you recycle, the more waste ends up in landfill, and the bad news is, the cost of sending waste to landfill is increasing. So if your business doesn’t recycle, you’re literally throwing away your profits.
So how can you increase recycling in your business?
Well start by looking at the state of play. What types of waste does your business produce? Do you tend to throw away a lot of paper, water bottles, food waste, or disposable coffee cups? How could you create less waste at the source?
Next, speak to your employees about your intention to increase recycling in the business. Ask them how recycling could be made easier for them and what barriers they envisage to recycling properly at work. Work together to come up with a plan.
Once you know what types of waste you’re dealing with and you’ve spoken to your team, make recycling easy by investing in some recycling bins. Make sure they are conveniently located and think about choosing different coloured bins for different types of waste so people know what they can and can’t put in them.
When you’ve been recycling for a while, review how things are going. Are there any tweaks you need to make, for instance, making general waste bins smaller so it makes people think twice before they throw?
Recycling is not rocket science, even though some people would have you think it. The best thing you can do for your business is to reduce the waste you produce in the first place. You don’t have to do anything earth shattering. Can you print documents double-sided to save paper? Can you encourage people to bring reusable water bottles to work instead of using plastic? There are so many ways you can cut down on waste!
We hope this helps,