7 Steps To Creating A Recycling Program At Work

Encourage recycling in your community
Jan 28, 2010 7:51 AM ET

Creating A Recycling Program At Work

Have you been thinking about ways to encourage recycling in your community? One way is to set up a recycling program at work, if your employer doesn’t already have one.

Most people have already heard about recycling, although U.S. statistics indicate that only about 32% of the population actually do it. But studies also show that people are willing to recycle once they see how important it is.

The United States produces about 670,000 tons of trash each day. But, about 84% of that waste—including food scraps, paper, cardboard, cans, and bottles—can be recycled. And waste generated in the workplace is a major contributor to the type of recyclables that need special attention, like computers. 

So Recycling at work will not just reduce the amount of waste making it’s way into local landfills. It will also help those who aren’t already recycling to see both the amount of waste they’re producing, and ways to reduce it. And once they see how easy and beneficial it is to recycle, they may start recycling at home.  Let’s hope so.

How Set Up A Recycling Program At Work

1. Talk it out. Start by talking to those you work with, and your employer, if necessary, about the types of trash they produce. Think glass, plastic, paper, electronics. Talk about what is recyclable and what isn’t.

2. Count It Out. How many trash, paper/cardboard, compost, and other recycling bins you will need?

3. Contact your local municipal waste collection service to find out what your community can and will recycle. They might even offer educational seminars, free bins and educational posters. Find info online by using Google with your city name and recycling or garbage pick up.

4. Set It Up. Place recycling bins In common areas like hallways, kitchens and meeting rooms. Label each bin for a specific type of recyclable. 

5. Correct Coding. You might try color coding each type of bin, say green for paper, red for plastic and blue for glass. Having each type of bin a specific color will make it easier for individuals to sort correctly.

6. Take A Meeting. Plan a time when everyone in your building can get together and learn about the recycling system, and what goes in which bin. Make sure you include your custodial staff since they will probably be the ones consolidating and collecting the contents.

7. Check Up. If you do a pre-program assessment of garbage output, it’s easier to measure your results later. Wait about a month after you launch your recycling program, then reassess your trash output.   Assessing the actual amount of garbage you produce is a big job, so don't let this step keep you from actually getting started. Setting up a recycling program will benefit everyone, so just go for it!

Via Wikihow.

Statistics gathered from EPA.gov reports and at Lovetoknow.com

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