It is common for workplaces across the globe to have some form of a recycling program, in an effort to keep the company eco-friendly. But just because a business implemented a program doesn’t mean the program is flawless. Starting a new recycling program can help workplaces reduce their carbon footprint in several ways. Plus, creating a recycling program offers many benefits beyond saving the planet, and it can also boost your bottom line. Here is how to implement a recycling program at your company.
Create Your Team
The first step in the creation of a recycling program is to create a task force responsible for tackling the issues. When forming your group, select employees from different departments who occupy a variety of job positions. This allows for diverse voices and distinct opinions regarding how to tackle the ecological problems of the workplace. Even if team members disagree, it is important to foster a productive and open dialogue with regards to the workplace’s ecological standards and practices.
Identify Objectives and Problem Areas
After creating the team, set about the task of identifying the goals of the initiative. Your goals can be as simple as reducing consumption of paper and cardboard, or as complex as becoming carbon neutral. Outlining clear objectives helps team members consider reasonable expectations for the possible outcomes.
After deciding on goals, examine what currently prevents the company from achieving these objectives. Possible problems include wasting paper products, tossing unused equipment, throwing recyclable items in the trash. Perform a waste audit to help identify problematic practices and gauge their seriousness.
Creating a plan to address problem areas while following company policy can prove challenging. This is where voices from different departments can be helpful. Those who see these problems first-hand will be in a better position to address the specific issues. This also allows for a plan that varies by department. A plan that works in shipping might not have the same results in the sales department. It is crucial for departments to determine their particular issues, to help improve the chances of the recycling program succeeding.
Another factor to consider when brainstorming solutions is the company mission statement. Staying within the scope of the mission is critical. No business wants to go overboard on waste and harmful practices, but they also don’t want to underperform. Stay mindful of the company’s mission statement, and this will help foster ideas that conform to those standards.
Communicate the Strategy
The next thing for the group to do is to communicate the new strategy with the office. Depending upon the scale of the program, higher-ups may choose to do this with a simple notification, or they may choose to announce additional training. An email would suffice for something as simple as encouraging the use of recycling bins. But if the company is, for example, adding a new industrial cardboard compactor to the warehouse, it is critical that everybody is trained on proper safety and lockout procedures before operating. Create a communication and training plan to supplement the rest of the recycling program, and take the guesswork out of the training process for employees and future hires.
Communicating the plan before implementation also allows for any additional input from co-workers. Having a wide range of voices on the recycling program team is helpful, but it is important to remember that opinions and suggestions from people outside of the team can be very useful. One person can't know everything about a department, so it is vital to listen to those other voices within the company.
Implement the Program
When the time finally comes to launch the new recycling program, getting employees invested and motivated is important to the initiative’s long-term success. Creating weekly challenges and monthly goals lets employees see clear results from their actions, incentivizing them to continue their green practices. Hosting launch events for recycling programs is an option, especially if employees receive some company swag made from sustainable and recycled materials.
There are many ways to cut back on waste depending upon the budget and scale for the company. The following are a few simple solutions that will work in most office environments. Buy or upgrade the commercial recycling bins in the office to better handle the volume of waste. No one will want to place something into the recycling bin if that bin is overflowing. Buy one for the office that encourages a greater amount of recycling. Additionally, ordering office supply products made from recycled materials is a great way to stay environmentally conscious. Another trick is to send memos as emails instead of paper notes, reducing the amount of paper the company buys, and cutting down on paper waste. Also, using real silverware, dishes, and glassware instead of disposable ones will help lessen unnecessary break room waste. Finally, save old office supplies that might be useful in the future such as computer mice, cables, and furniture. If they are not yet obsolete, it’s fine to keep them around.
Review and Adjust
A step that is often overlooked in many plans is a review. This step allows companies to identify what is working well so that they can continue to grow and develop further practices. In this way, the move toward reducing waste will continue, and perhaps improve.
But it is also important to review so that the recycling team can see where their plan falls short of company goals. Part of being successful means learning and growing from mistakes, so taking the time to determine where the plan may have failed can improve future recycling projects. Reviews give the company the ability to modify any underperforming features and hopefully improve the program overall, making it a better fit.
Knowing how to implement a recycling program at your company will help your company reduce waste and become more sustainable. At Trash Cans Depot, we are the experts on waste and recycling solutions and are here to help you find the best commercial waste management products for your business.