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4 Management Tips for Recycling in the Office

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The process of recycling is important as it plays a major role in keeping reusable resources out of landfill sites and reduces harmful contaminants and greenhouse gases released by garbage. Whether your business is a large-scale operation with many employees or a smaller organization with only a handful of people, every little bit of recycling that is done helps. Because of all of the different materials that can be recycled, it can be a tedious task. You want to make sure that you have bins able to accommodate all materials being sorted. Below are factors to consider when choosing what bins will suit your office needs and help in making the process easier.

1. Number of employees

Obviously the amount of employees you have at your business will determine the amount of recycling is collected. Businesses need to be mindful of this fact and ensure that the recycling bins available are large enough and accessible so people can participate in the process with relative ease. Recyclable materials also need to be separated so at the very least, have two bins: one for paper and cardboard and one for plastic and cans. Businesses that are largely administrative usually recycle more paper than any other recyclable material so having a larger bin to accommodate this would be helpful.

2. Location

If your company is large and the office is spacious, placing recycling bins at different areas will maximize the chances of eligible materials being recycled. Place them wherever there are materials that can be recycled such as by the copying machine and printers for paper and empty ink cartridges and the lunchroom for plastic and cans. While recycling bins are usually kept beside the garbage can, keeping the two separate will remove the opportunity for employees to throw recyclable materials into the trash.

3. Items being recycled

Each type of company has different materials that can be recycled. For instance, an administrative office will have more paper to recycle than anything else. A grocery company may have more cardboard and plastic. You want to make sure your bins can accommodate the materials that you recycle the most. The following materials common in an office setting can be recycled: cans, paper, cardboard, glass, and plastics. Take an inventory of everything that you have that fits into these categories and estimate what types of bins you would need. For example, if you have a lot of cans and bottles, a larger bin to hold lots of them would be best with a plastic liner to prevent leaks and spills. If you have excess paper and cardboard, a larger bin with a liner for easy tie-up and removal would suffice.

4. Signage

Recycling materials is a common practice and has been happening for decades, but this does not mean everyone is knowledgeable about it. The truth is, many people still do not know what can be recycled and what is trash. As a result, you may want to consider signage at spots where recycled material is being collected at your business. The universal colour for recyclable materials is blue so having your bins this colour would let people know where to put their contributions. Materials are usually separated as follows: paper can be put in with cardboard, cans can be mixed with plastic containers, and glass can usually be placed with the cans and plastic. Putting signage on each bin noting what goes where and what items can go with other materials will increase people’s understanding of the process and in turn increase the chances that they will recycle.

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