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Supporting & Increasing Your Office Recycling Is Easier Than You Think

Even if no two businesses are ever the same apropos of the waste they generate, there are four types of unwanted or unused materials that make up most of the rubbish created in the workplace: paper, food, printing products, and e-waste (computers, smartphones, tablets, cameras, TVs, etc.). Every day, offices generate vast volumes of waste that contribute to landfill burdens and climate change. Now that you understand your carbon footprint, you can start taking steps to reduce it, including implementing a recycling scheme within your workplace

Recycling benefits the community, the economy, and the environment, creating a healthier planet for ourselves and future generations. The success of workplace recycling depends on the collection method (segregated or mixed materials), the storage of reusables and recyclables, and other important factors, such as local authority support. Office recycling comes with challenges, but you and your employees must do the right thing, so explore the practical tips and strategies to develop an effective program in your facility. 

Every Area Has Different Procedures, So Find Out What Can and Can’t Be Recycled 

Legislative requirements differ from state to state, which means that the councils that provide weekly curbside recycling may process the byproducts themselves or rely on contractors. Whether your collection service is provided by your council or a private haulier, it’s paramount to understand what is and what isn’t accepted so you can sort office waste for maximum recycling potential. The Australian Council of Recycling processes a wide range of materials, including but not limited to packaging, batteries, electronic products, tyres, and more. 

The Australian Beverages Council is actively engaged in the development and implementation of recycling schemes for bottles, cans, and cartons, currently operating in South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales to reduce litter. There’s growing worldwide recognition that we need to take responsibility for waste, so make sure you follow the proper procedures by learning more about your area’s recycling program. Businesses that bale their waste enjoy a lower collection fee, so think about renting or leasing a waste baler – not only can you cut costs, but you can also create a tidier workspace. 

Place Recycling Bins Throughout the Office in Convenient Locations 

You must separate your rubbish before sending it off to recycling because some items can contaminate one another and ruin their repurposing. Have clearly labelled bins next to exits and entrances for different types of materials to create a sustainable and efficient office environment. Workplace recycling should be as convenient as possible to encourage use, so ensure the containers are labelled with helpful signage about what does/what doesn’t belong there – even a piece of paper tossed into the plastics bin can contaminate the entire stream. 

Offer Incentives Like Discounts, Gift Cards, & Vouchers to Motivate Employees to Recycle 

Educate your staff members on the recycling program, the need for it, and the benefits of recycling, which include reducing the company’s carbon footprint, climate change mitigation, lessening the dependency on raw materials, and creating jobs. Not only does it empower them to make environmentally responsible choices, but it also aligns the entire organisation towards achieving sustainability goals. Different roles within your organisation will require different types of knowledge and responsibilities, which is why you must customise training to have a guarantee that learning is relevant and practical.

Providing incentives motivates employees to turn in their waste and give it a new purpose, so think about offering discounts, gift cards, and vouchers. While cash and other financial incentives have logged the limelight, many businesses are exploring different avenues to demonstrate appreciation for their teams, such as public recognition and appreciation. Plus, giving additional vacation days goes the extra mile. The best way to reward an employee is to do it right away, so build a relationship with your employees, which they won’t get at other companies. 

Monitor & Evaluate Progress to Track Your Company’s Performance & Have Concrete Proof

Monitor and evaluate the progress of your recycling program on a regular basis to uncover insights that can guide your company, like recycling rates, waste reduction, and employee engagement, to name a few. This analysis won’t result in data that can be compared (or applied) to another business unless that company is in the same industry. Use the data to identify areas for improvement – e.g., promoting litter-less lunches, separating organics, reusing old office supplies – and make adjustments accordingly. If you celebrate achievements the right way, you’ll likely increase confidence and motivation, so communicate progress to maintain momentum. 

If there are any issues causing confusion or situations where your recycling system isn’t easy to follow, find the best way to handle the matter. While some investors rely on their own research to grasp a company’s performance, many take notice of ESG ratings to understand the level of risk associated with an investment, so optimise investor sentiment through better corporate reporting. You’re able to increase your rating via strong waste management and increase your company’s capacity to attract new kinds of investment, such as sustainability-linked bonds that broaden access to international finance. 

Wrapping It Up

Recycling in the office offers the best possible outcomes for your company and the environment, reducing the need for harvesting raw materials, saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preventing pollution, and so forth. As you divert waste from the trash bin, you can reduce expenses for your business, as disposal costs are directly linked to the frequency of pickups. An ever-increasing number of consumers are realising the importance of environmental sustainability and shifting their allegiances to brands that encompass their moral values. 

All in all, you’ll want to be proactive about environmental sustainability and provide staff members with centralised stations for waste and recycling, including posters reminding employees what items can and can’t be discarded. If resources are limited, start with paper and expand the scope of your recycling program at a later stage. With the help of a few people, you can easily get your program up and running right away and drive changes towards becoming a net-zero business with no impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. 

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