Paper production has a negative impact on the environment. Not only does it cause deforestation, but it causes air pollution due to carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide that are emitted during paper manufacturing. Unfortunately, a 12 foot tall wall from Seattle to NYC can be built every year with the amount of office paper that is thrown away in the United States.
However, paper production from recycled paper causes 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution. Because of this, it's a good idea to get your office workers involved in recycling. If you would like to establish a recycling program for your office building, you may be wondering how to implement a program and get everyone involved. Here are a few ideas that can help.
1. Conduct a Waste-Management Analysis
First, hire your local recycling service to conduct a waste-management analysis of the trash your facility produces. They will go through your refuse to analyze the contents and separate them into categories so they can be weighed. This analysis will give you a good idea of how much waste your office can recycle, particularly when it comes to paper and other common office-related materials. Analyze the refuse and recycled materials on a regular basis to see the progress that is being made.
2. Place the Roll-Off Dumpsters
Once you have a good idea of how much your office can recycle, order separate roll-off dumpsters for recycling and trash. The dumpster sizes and types should correspond to the data from the waste-management analysis. If your office work fluctuates seasonally, you'll need to take this into consideration as well. Place the recycling dumpsters in an area that is easily accessible to your office workers so they can dump the individual recycling bins into the roll-off dumpsters on a regular basis.
3. Label the Indoor Recycling Bins
Since the different communities where your employees live likely have varying degrees of recycling requirements, your employees may be confused as to what they can recycle in the office. To reduce the confusion, clearly label each recycling bin in the facility. If you have employees that are multilingual or who use English as their second language, use easy-to-identify pictures to label the bins.
4. Strategically Place the Recycling Bins & Trash Receptacles
Place the recycling bins and trash receptacles throughout the building where they are needed the most. Try to keep the recycling bins and trash receptacles separated. That way, your employees won't accidentally toss the wrong things into them if they are in a rush. You'll also want to make sure the sizes of the openings of the bins and containers appropriate for the materials that are being tossed into them. For example, a recycling bin for paper should have a slot large enough for a ream of paper to be inserted into the container but too small for a soda can to fit through. The idea here is to make it difficult to do the wrong thing.
5. Motivate Your Employees
Unfortunately, many people don't recycle for various reasons, and, therefore, they may need some help getting motivated. Determine an incentive that will help motivate your employees. Perhaps you can reward their recycling efforts by allowing them to dress down one day or scheduling an office party if they reach a specific recycling goal.
Hold competitions between departments to see which team recycles the most. Alternatively, have each department compete with themselves to improve their recycling efforts from previous months. To do this, you'll need to have the recycling service conduct another waste-management analysis of the contents of each of the recycling dumpsters at the end of each competition. Contact a service like East Central Sanitation & Recycling for the analyses or for further tips.