The ultimate guide to implementing a recycling plan
When you decide to do the right thing and implement a recycling plan in a business you need to first consider how you can do so properly and effectively. Proper waste management with a solid recycling program can massively impact the carbon footprint of a business for the better, but you need to get it right for it to be effective and efficient. Here we explore all of the important factors in implementing a recycling plan.
The first important step is to establish the requirements for your company. You cannot start installing appropriate recycling stations until you know what the requirements of the company are. To do this you need to look at the waste that is being produced and examine your existing waste management systems to identify the volumes being produced. Once you know the volumes of each waste stream you can develop a recycling program that will deal with it all promptly and appropriately. The first objective should be to reduce the amount of waste being produced where possible. Also you may find that there are only small volumes of certain types of waste coming from isolated areas of the business and you may even be able to eliminate these once they have been identified.
Consider the waste management provider
The waste management provider for your business should then be consulted. You should determine how they separate the waste they receive and consider whether they have the capability to handle the waste and recycled material even if you sort it before sending it to them. Waste management will be futile if you then hand it to a waste management company who put it all into landfill without recycling anything that you have carefully sorted. Companies may sometimes offer you rebates for properly sorted waste too, so it is worth having this discussion. If the waste management company isn’t meeting your needs for handling recycled materials then you will need to look elsewhere. Finding the right waste management provider is a very important step in being able to properly and effectively implement a new waste management program.
Use the company resources
In your company, you will have plenty of people who can get involved in the recycling system setup and you should use these professionals to brainstorm ideas about how best to carry out the recycling. If the system in place is made to be effective then people will be more likely to engage with it, so you should use your staff to come up with the best possible solution. Offering a reward for the best idea can help to get people involved and can ensure that you come up with the right solution. Suggestions may also help you to cut back on waste and in doing so may be able to reduce your material costs too. As an added bonus doing this will also help your staff to buy into the system and this can make the entire process more effective than it may otherwise be. Involving people instead of imposing rules from the top down will always help your recycling program to get started.
Install recycling stations
Once you have determined what you want to recycle you can then create recycling stations that include all of the necessary recycling points in each location. This should not be uniform and should instead put the right bins where they are needed. Your food waste bins, for example, will only be needed in places where employees eat or make cups of tea and it is pointless having these elsewhere in the business. A compost recycle bin placed in the kitchen can help to cut down on waste dramatically, but it will not do so in an office corridor. Recycling bins should also be chosen in appropriate sizes for each location. In a print room, for example, you may want a larger paper recycling bin and only a small plastics bin. Consult the Paragon Products website (to find the right size of bins for each location. Remember that the bins you use will also help to determine behaviours too. The landfill bin should be smaller so that staff are encouraged not to put items into it that can be better placed elsewhere. If the room for recycling is bigger, then staff will be more likely to opt for the recycling bin and help to achieve your goals.
Educate the users
While recycling should be a no-brainer for everyone, there will be many people who are resistant to it and ignore the system. You can help to prevent this by communicating with people about why you are introducing the system and why their cooperation will help. Telling them how much waste the company was producing is a good way to make them realise that this new system is a better option and this will hopefully help them to engage. As the new recycling program progresses it is good to feedback from your employees and other users too. By outlining the amount of waste vs recycling that the company is creating you will be able to demonstrate to the effect that your new program is having and this can help to make staff feel good about themselves. Use a notice board above the bins to highlight the progress that your recycling program is making to help keep people invested in it.
Remain open to changes
A recycling program can always be improved and there may be further steps that can be made to the waste management to improve the system still further. You should always remain open to more improvements that can be made to make your business greener and you should encourage any suggestions from staff. Better waste management can often save you money and ideas for achieving this should be encouraged to improve business and help to protect the environment. By following these steps you can help to reduce the carbon footprint of your business and can ensure that your newly implemented recycling program will be a success. Remember to get the staff on board from the start for best results and work together to make the world a greener and cleaner place.