How to Make Recycling Easier in Your Business
If you own a business you’ll know the various challenges it can bring. Some of these depend on the type of business you have whereas others – such as finding customers for example – are shared by all businesses.
Another good example of something all businesses have in common is the push to recycle as much rubbish as possible. We all do this as individuals but owning a business means you need to think bigger. If you are serious about recycling as much as you possibly can, you have to think about it from a different point of view.
If this all sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry. We’re here to help and we’re about to guide you through the process of making business recycling that bit easier to understand and put in place.
How many employees do you have?
It’s a good idea to make this your first question. An office with, perhaps, five employees in total is a very different proposition when it comes to recycling than two floors of an office building that have over 70 employees. Clearly each one has very different needs. This is why evaluating the number of employees you have is a good place to start.
What kinds of bins would you need?
Bins can be provided for all kinds of recycling reasons. For example the average office would undoubtedly be able to recycle paper, card, printer cartridges and possibly batteries too. There would also be another bin for non-recyclable items.
If your business is comprised of more than one area it is definitely worth taking the time to explore every part of it to see what can be recycled. Note down your findings so you have more information to go on as you progress. It will come in very useful later on. For example if you run a factory making plastic packaging items, the factory floor may have very different recycling needs to the offices above it. By examining each area separately you can come up with a good action plan for each one.
You need to think in terms of providing the right bins for each area and possibly some individuals as well. For example, as the owner of your business you probably have your own office. This might be next to the main office where your employees work. Now let’s say you create a recycling station in the main office. This might work well if it isn’t too big a space. You wouldn’t however go out into the main office every time you wanted to throw something away. You’d need your own bins to use.
In this case you’d probably get the appropriate number of smaller bins for your office. At the same time you could invest in larger bins for more people to use in the main office. You might even need one or two more in that area because there is more to be disposed of.
Why not take a look at our recent post on The Almost Paperless Office to see how your business can cut down on its paper use.
Start looking at the choice of bins available
It’s easy to go out and buy the first few bins you find. But do remember that spending a little extra time at this stage could save you later on – both in money and in avoiding poor results.
The great thing about many recycling bins is that they are often colour-coded. People are getting used to seeing different bins of different colours depending on what needs to be recycled. In most cases the lids of the bins will be colour-coded in some way, regardless of the design of the bin. You can also get stickers to put on each bin so everyone is clear about what should go in there.
Getting the size right
Choosing the best sized bins for your needs can be tricky. Obviously the more employees you have the bigger the bins should be. However this is over-simplifying it somewhat. You can end up with a large bin in an area that isn’t often used and have bins in other areas that are overflowing every five minutes.
This is another reason why it is wise to record your findings as you assess your business recycling needs. The more information you have at your disposal, the easier it is to get the right number of bins, the right types, and to have them in the right places.
Think about whether or not to get a slimline design too. These take up less floor space but they are still available in fairly large sizes if you dispose of a lot of rubbish each day.
Putting your plan into action
The next step is to order the recycling bins you require. While you are waiting for delivery you can let your employees know what is going on. Getting people in on the action is essential if your business recycling efforts are going to be a success. In fact you can always begin this step much earlier if you wish. If you want to recycle you can talk to your employees at the very beginning of the process. Ask them which items they tend to throw away most often that could be recycled if the right receptacles were available to do so. They will have a better idea in some cases and it can make your order for bins more accurate.
You can even get people involved in unpacking and placing the recycling bins in the best locations when they arrive. This is easier in smaller businesses that have fewer employees as everyone can muck in. However it does work in all situations.
You should also make sure everyone knows you have an open door policy on recycling. Do they have any ideas that might help the business recycle even more? Do they have any suggestions on which bins to place where depending on how and where they work each day?
There is no doubt that business recycling is made easier when you can all pitch in together. If you haven’t recycled at all yet, you might be surprised at the amount you can do when you are ready to recycle in a big way.
Once you have digested all the above why not take a look at the next step for help in Setting Up an Office Recycling Program.