Does your business have separate office recycling bins? Do you encourage your employees to recycle? Is your busy workload preventing you from taking up a proper recycling program? Lack of recycling can land you in trouble. You will have to deal with huge amounts of trash daily.
Overflowing trash bins are not only an unpleasant sight. They can cost you a lot towards waste disposal. Further not recycling can put you under the scanner of the local authorities. Luckily, office recycling is not an uphill task. Know what the 4Rs mean and how you can teach your workers to take up recycling with fervor.
What are the 4 Rs in Recycling?
Waste management is best done when you follow the 4 Rs. Do you know what the 4 Rs are? Here is a short guide on them.
This first step makes sure you produce less waste. By limiting the amount of waste, you can reduce the need for other Rs. You can cut the amount of waste you generate by using the following tips.
a) Conscious Buying
When you buy a new item, consider all aspects of its use like:
- The energy spent for its production
- Resources spent on its packaging and shipping
- The disposal of the item
b) Avoid Disposables
Try using an item for a longer period without replacing it. You can reduce the need to dispose it of and save the resources spent on buying a new item. For instance, you can use:
- Travel mugs instead of disposable cups
- Straws made of silicone or stainless steel
- Shopping bags made of cloth
- Zip-top bags
c) Think Of Composting
The food waste in the office is compostable as done in households. You can turn the paper towels, toilet paper rolls, and food scraps into compost rich in nutrients. Use compost bins to collect such items.
Reusing involves using old items by repairing them. You can do this in these ways:
- Donate unwanted appliances and other office equipment to nonprofits, community centers, and schools.
- Repair faulty equipment and reuse them instead of buying new items.
- You can also return your old equipment at retail stores. Many stores offer rewards for returning used containers.
Recycling involves turning waste materials into new objects. Office printer paper and cardboard are recyclable. Plastic and glass items are also recyclable. Use sturdy office recycling bins with separate slots for such items. Rinse glass jars and plastic cartons to remove food residue before you dispose them of.
Repurposing involves using an item you do not use for some other purpose. This will prevent the item from ending up in the trash. For instance, you can use old glass jars for the storage of office supplies, screws, and other such items. You can also turn a used milk carton into a watering can by poking holes in the cap top. Plus, you can use old CDs as coasters for the coffee table.
7 Ways To Encourage Employees To Use The Office Recycling Bin
Although the 4 Rs offer many benefits, it is difficult to make your employees follow them. Here are some tips you can use to motivate them.
Tip #1: Placement Of Recycling Bins
Paper and cardboard form a big chunk of recyclables in an office space. The printed copies of reports that end up in the trash are more than those in use. Despite going digital, there is still plenty of paper waste in offices. Here are some tips that will help.
- One effective way is to place metal or plastic garbage containers next to the printer.
- You can also place a bin in all major workspaces.
- Change your printer’s default settings to double-sided printing to reduce paper trash.
- Keep the bins in a visible spot where it is easy to use them.
- Make sure you have large commercial waste bins that suit the size of your office.
Tip #2: Collect Recyclables
Other than paper, you can find many recyclable trash items. E-waste like cellphones, computers, and other related items are recyclable. Carry out an audit of the waste in your office space. You can know the amount of trash in your office and its recyclable nature from the audit. Items that go into the trash bin but are recyclable include:
- Light bulbs
- Aluminum cans
- Magazines and newspapers
- Printer cartridges
Tip #3: Place Centralized Bins For Recycling
Avoid giving separate bins for each employee. Instead, use centralized recycling and waste bin. Employees will sort the waste they throw away and not dump all the waste into their desk-side bin. Use trash bins with slots for different items. The slots help to sort the items for recycling. They also prevent contamination of the items.
Tip # 4: Encourage Upcycling
Reusing office supplies is a great way to upcycle products. It saves unnecessary expense and waste. Have a separate area in your office for old office supplies. Keep items like staplers, file folders, and other stuff in this upcycling area. An employee in need of some new item should check the upcycle space before buying new items.
Tip #5: Limit The Waste Entering Your Office
Look into what you bring into your office and supply stream. Work with your vendors to control the items that you use in your office. Make sure only items that are compostable or recyclable enter the workspace. Some ways include:
- Provide silverware and real dishes for your employees. These items will replace plastics and Styrofoam cups and plates. You can reduce a big chunk of trash that disposables make. Real dishes look elegant and they cost less when you consider long-term use.
- Instead of using K-Cup coffee, try buying your coffee beans in bulk. Invest in a coffee bean grinder. This will limit the use of plastic cups and also save money.
- Buy snacks, sugar, Kleenex, and other items in bulk. You can save money and also reduce the packaging you dispose of.
- Give reusable water bottles with the company logo to your employees. You can save on plastic bottles and promote health. As a bonus, the logo will serve as free advertising.
Tip #6: Compost The Food Waste
Keep a separate bin for collecting biodegradable food scraps. You can find trendy touchless trash can models available that go well with the office décor. Employees can throw the food waste in it. A compost program for your office can feed the rooftop or landscaping.
You can also use the food compost to support the community garden in your locality. Give clear orders on compostable food scraps. For instance, coffee filters, coffee grounds, and fruits are compostable.
Tip #7: Place Attractive Recycling Bins
If you want your green measures to take off on the right footing, invest in quality trash bins. Use separate bins for general trash and recyclable items. An advanced model like the motion sensor trash can is easy to use and looks good.
Recycling bins with slots for different items are ideal for the office space. Employees will find it easy to throw recyclable items like paper, plastic, and bottles.
Besides, labeled bins will not confuse them about which trash goes into which slot. The Busch Systems Spectrum model is a good example. It has four streams with bold labels that will encourage your employees to recycle.
Having a good recycling program is the secret to successful waste management. With the various tips above, your employees will take up the program with zeal. When done in a consistent way, recycling can bring you several perks. You get to save on waste disposal and your customers will appreciate your green efforts. You will be proud of your part in reducing the carbon footprint. Try the tips here and find out the change in the way your office disposes of waste.
Once you succeed in making them aware of the benefits, it is easier to manage the office waste. Make sure you invest in durable and trendy-looking trash bins. Whether it is recycling or general trash, high-quality bins are easy to maintain. For more info on smart, stylish, and sturdy garbage bin models, visit Trash Cans Depot.