Creating a Recycling Program in the Workplace

Is your company brainstorming new positive changes to make in the upcoming year? What about a recycling program? Recycling programs are a great and easy way to involve everyone at your company in making better use of their waste instead of throwing all of it in the garbage and adding to your local landfills and, eventually, oceans. Other benefits to a workplace Recycling Program includes monetary saving, protecting the environment, energy savings, improved company image, and more.

Daycon implemented a recycling program in recent years and we’ve got a few tips and thoughts to share.

Form a Team and Assign Tasks

As with most projects, implementing a recycling program at the workplace should not be done alone. Not only will it be overwhelming in addition to one’s usual work tasks but everyone has their special skillsets, knowledge, and connections and this is a great time to benefit from each other. Selecting members from different departments opens the discussion to what a successful recycling program looks like for each department.

Once your team is selected, discuss who will take on what. Is there a buyer on your team? They’d be great for researching and purchasing bins. Is there a marketing associate in the group? They’d be ideal for how to convey the news of this new program.

Discuss with your Janitorial Team

While creating a recycling program is great, this ultimately adds responsibility to your janitorial team. With that said, it’s important to inform them of what you’re hoping to do in the office and ask for any advice or suggestions they may have so there’s less added to their already full plates.

At Daycon, we opted to share the responsibility as much as possible by ordering recycling bins for each desk and asking employees to be responsible for disposing of their own waste (garbage and recyclables) at the multiple locations with sectioned bins like the one below. This allowed the janitorial team to go from visiting each desk to dispose of trash to only stopping at the large bin locations to remove the garbage and recycles.

(This specific bin can be found at Grainger)

Research and Purchase Necessary Tools

This step will require knowing how much and what type of waste your company is looking to recycle but once you know that you can move forward with purchasing recycling bins (in the needed quantities) and making arrangements with the waste companies that regularly pick up your company’s trash for an outside recycle bin or their approved system. The recycling bins you purchase can vary in size (larger sizes being great for common areas like the breakroom and smaller sizes being great fit for each department, if that’s in your budget).

Introduce the Program & Launch

Now that the recycling team has been established and purchases have been made, it’s a great time to begin communication with your company. This can start as messages on why recycling is important and merge into messaging that announces the program in your office and how everyone can do their part. This is where having a Recycling Team made up of different departments helps because this makes it easy for them to spread the message and answer any questions within their department before (and during) launch.

A date to launch will likely be established during the planning period of your program but, remember, it’s okay if this date has to change as you come to learn more and make purchases. The launch will happen in time!

Ask for Feedback & Check-ins with the Team

Although the program has been launched, the work of the Recycling Team is not over. As the program takes off, you want to be open to feedback from everyone in the company to find out how you can better the recycling experience for everyone.

For Daycon, feedback included being more specific in what goes in each bin to avoid the whole bin being contaminated. Feedback may also include more bins spread throughout the building and, possibly, bins at each desk.

We also suggest scheduling occasional meetings with the Recycle Team to discuss how everyone thinks the program is holding up and if there’s anything that can be improved on as time goes on. Ultimately, new programs take time to reach great success and a Recycling Program is the same way.

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