How To: Corporate Recycling Programs
We all want to be 'Greener'. While the construction industries are working hard to create new green workplaces, there are things you can do today to improve the greeness of your workplace. Great Lakes Recycling is a huge proponent of helping businesses develop best practices for recycling at the office. In this article, we are going to cover the 10 key points in developing and maintaining a program that is sustainable, educates staff and delivers a truly greener workplace.
- It's a team effort - Setting up a Green Team in the office provides employees the opportunity to be leaders. This team will control communicating the initiatives, managing the program and ensuring not only it's effectiveness but that it has a lasting impact on the bottom line of the operation.
- Which materials should we be recycling? - Guess what? This is the easiest part of the program. In the areas covered by Great Lakes Recycling, our Recycling Experts will come to your facility and conduct a waste stream audit.
- Your Property Manager - Great Lakes Recycling works with a variety of property managers, providing additional services that can have an aggregate effect across a group of businesses. This makes your team part of a larger effort to "Get Green".
- Contact GLR - An important step in developing your corporate recycling program is to contact a recycling company. If you are in a GLR coverage area, we will help you every step of the way. If you are not in a GLR coverage area, we can still recommend a company in your area that can help.
- Drop-off Recycling - If pickup services are not feasible for your facility due to low volume or remoteness. You can still implement a program by delivering your recyclables to a drop-off recycling center. GLR provides multiple locations in Michigan and New York that offer drop-off recycling facilities.
- Coordinating Recycling Efforts - Give your recycling team the latitude to coordinate with your recycling partner, janitorial staff and the rest of the company to address:
- Small bins (copy paper boxes) by standard office equipment that can be collected by janitorial staff. Typically, paper collection exists in these locations.
- Central bins - Implement larger recycling bins where the smaller bins can be collected over time.
- Drop-off Recycling - Depending on the size of your business, the corporate recycling team will have to manage drop-off responsibilities.
- Educate Staff - The recycling team should develop fact sheets about your specific recycling program
- Provide bins as mentioned previously.
- Label recycling containers with the appropriate material being collected and the universal "chasing arrows" recycling symbols.
- Plan and conduct an announcement to the entire company that expressly details the effort and what each employee can do to help.
- The Green Kick-off - Have the team schedule, organize and manage a kick-off event that engages the entire staff and celebrates the companies desire to become a greener business. You will be surprised how well received this event will be. Everyone wants to be greener, sometimes they just need some partnership. Green employees are more engaged employees because they feel like the company they work for has the greater good in mind, not just profits.
- Tell Everyone - Great Lakes Recycling provides a "Green Report", it's free. You simply put the tonnage of recycling into the online system and our website will produce a report that you can post on your website, front door, behind the retail counter or anywhere else that not only the employees but also your customers can see.
- Sustainability - In order for any project to be successful, there has to be a plan in place to maintain efforts. Set up a regular audit of the recycling program. Your recycling team should meet once a quarter to assess the financial and goodwill results of the recycling program. If you put the right team in place, your corporate recycling program can deliver significant engagement among employees and customers. The program can also have an impact on your bottom line.