Today, almost every office has a recycling program, irrespective of its size. In fact, federal rules also state that companies must recycle their waste. But, many people still do not know how to sort the waste. If your office is small or the amount of waste generated in your office is less, you would need a small recycling bin. After choosing the size of the bin, it is crucial to make your employees aware of what they are discarding and how.
You can motivate your employees to recycle using many ways. A busy work schedule makes it difficult for them to focus on recycling. They do not think about what goes into a recycling bin and what goes into the trash. So, the first step is to teach them the proper way to sort the waste with small recycling bins. Here are a few tips on sorting waste for recycling.
What Are The 5 Things You Can Recycle?
To make sure you are in a clean and green workspace, you need to know the items that you can recycle. Five important recyclable items in the workspace are:
1. Printer Paper
One of the common items that you can recycle in a business is paper. Offices generate a huge amount of paper waste. Almost 50% of paper used in the workspace ends up in the trash. You can recycle most of it and save resources. A few tips you can use to reduce such waste are:
- Place trash receptacles in places with more paper traffic, such as next to the printer or the kitchen
- Try to reuse the paper before you throw it in the trash
- You can print on both sides of a paper instead of single-side printing
- Use shredded paper for packaging
- Create a central shipping area to make it easy for employees to be aware of recycling
2. Plastic Bags And Containers
Plastic materials are difficult to recycle. While some items are recyclable, others are not. You need to look at the resin codes to know whether an item is recyclable or not.
For instance, the #1 and #2 inside the recycling logo show the items that go into the blue recycle bin. Some common items include cups, water bottles, and food containers.
You can place the plastic bags used for carrying your lunch and other items in separate bins. Then, arrange to take the collected items to the drop-off spot or the local grocery store.
3. Shipping Supplies
Items like tape, labels, and others add more burden to the waste disposal in companies. But, these supplies are recyclable. Make sure you separate the items you can repurpose before you dispose them of.
Styrofoam pallets and packing paper are reusable. Shredded paper is good packing material. Using a common receiving and shipping area will help in easy recycling. Many recycling services offer proper recycling of such items so they do not end up in landfills.
Technology updates are constant, making it necessary to switch over to newer versions. This results in many outdated devices ending up in the trash.
Since e-waste is very harmful to the surroundings, recycling it is very important. Find out places that recycle electronic waste for proper e-waste disposal.
5. Ink Cartridges
Toner and ink cartridge are recyclable. But, most workplaces do not recycle them. Ink cartridges undergo recycling and are resold. Each cartridge can save plastic and metal from ending up in landfills. Also, repurposing them saves oil used for making new cartridges.
Look into office supply shops that accept empty cartridges. You can even find stores that provide a discount for empty cartridges when you buy new ones.
How To Make Employees Sort The Trash In Recycling Bins
Now that you know of the recyclable items found in offices, you can move on to the next step. Teaching employees how to sort trash helps to simplify the process. Don’t allow your employees to dump all recyclable items into a single trash receptacle. This will make it difficult to recycle.
For instance, food residue in the items can contaminate other items in the bin. This can make the process futile. Moreover, many collection centers do not accept contaminated trash. So, the right way to recycle is to sort the items at the source. Here are a few tips on how you can motivate and teach your employees to sort the recyclable items.
- The first step in sorting is placing separate trash containers. Label each bin so that everyone finds it easy to use them. Use a container with separate slots for items like paper and bottles.
- Form a team for the program with members from different parts of your business. For instance, you can have a member from sales, purchasing, etc. The team will help in making the program a success.
- Conduct an audit of the materials that end up in your office trash. Look for items that are:
- Found in large amounts
- Free of food or other contamination
- Easy to separate from other waste materials
- For paper waste, remove impurities from the products. Remember that you cannot recycle wet, dirty, and laminated cardboard. These should go into regular trash bins.
- For metal cans and tins, remove food residues. Flatten the products as much as possible. Use a kitchen food waste bin for items with food residues.
- Keep a separate food recycling bin for biodegradable waste to use as compost. Any fruit leftovers and wet paper waste can go into this bin. But, remember that some food waste, like dairy products and meat, is not compostable. It promotes the growth of bacteria and causes a bad odor on decomposing.
- Have specific labels on the containers to show which materials go into them. You can have images or photos of the items. Or, you can invest in labeled bins so there is no confusion.
- Put up fact sheets or posters on different recyclable items. You can post them in common areas or break rooms. The company’s intranet is also a good way to communicate.
- Create competitions and incentives for your employees. This will make the process more fun. Plus, they will be eager to take part and also motivate others.
Waste management and recycling is not a difficult task. Nor is it an expensive one. Teaching your employees to sort with small recycling bins benefits you in many ways. You can reduce the amount of waste. Awareness about recycling and reusing will help save costs on buying new items. Plus, you will start buying recyclable items.
You can create a positive image of your company. Your customers and community will know you care about your environment. Make sure you invest in superior quality trash bins. A product like the Busch Systems Spectrum is ideal for the workplace. You can also use bins with more than one slot. For quality recycling and general waste bins, visit Trash Cans Depot.