How to promote recycling in the workplace

Workplaces are taking recycling more seriously these days, but successful recycling programs hinge on staff engagement and making it as simple as possible.

Companies and organisations, big and small, are implementing their own recycling activities to recover reusable materials and reduce what ends up in landfill.

These efforts are not only good for the environment, they also save businesses money and give them an edge in attracting new customers and retaining staff.

That said, effective recycling programs require more effort than just putting out a few bins. To get staff motivated, companies and organisations need to actively encourage recycling and showcase the results.

Here are some tips for promoting recycling in your workplace:

Create an upcycling station

A big part of recycling is finding ways to reuse goods that still work but are no longer needed.

An upcycling station is a great way to encourage employees to reuse everyday items in the workplace, whether it’s an old stapler, binder or computer monitor.

Your workplace can easily set up an upcycling station by designating a shared space like a shelf, cupboard or bookshelf where people can drop off items they no longer need.

Be sure to set clear guidelines, so that staff know to only leave working items at the station and encourage employees to check the upcycle station before ordering new workplace supplies.

Position recycling bins effectively

The location of recycling bins can have an impact on the rate of recycling in your workplace.

Research has shown that people are more likely to recycle if there are bins in convenient locations, especially when they are situated near general waste bins.

If a recycling bin is located more than five metres away from a general waste bin, the recycling rate will almost be the same as if no recycling bin was provided at all.

You should also consider setting up collection points for waste that needs to be recycled separately.

Recycling companies like Ecocycle can supply your workplace with collection boxes for batteries, light bulbs, electronic waste (e-waste) and other speciality items and can safely collect them once they are full.

Publicise recycling efforts

To get the most value out of your recycling program, it’s a good idea to display recycling signs near bins to avoid confusion.

While most people know to recycle paper, plastic bottles and aluminium cans, you can use signs to inform staff about lesser-known recyclable items like batteries and mobile phones.

You may also want to warn staff about common items that are mistakenly thrown in the recycling bin such as paper coffee cups, which are typically covered in plastic.

Employers can also publicise the recycling performance of their workplace, whether it is celebrating successes or highlighting lacklustre results.

Keeping track of the statistics can be a great motivator for employees and it can start with counting the number of bags of general rubbish generated in the workplace compared to the volume of waste recycled.

Keen to start a workplace recycling program?

When it comes to niche recycling categories like lighting and mercury-containing waste, Ecocycle can also provide recycling certificates that show how much you have recycled.

Ecocycle is Australia’s leading mercury recycler, providing end-to-end recycling programs for companies and organisations of all sizes.

If your workplace needs a commercial-scale recycling program for used batteries, lighting, e-waste or other mercury-containing waste, just give us a call on 1300 32 62 92 or fill out the form below.