Going Green At Work

Recycling in the office

The idea of sustainability is gaining a lot of traction in today’s workplace as everyone wants to be seen as being green by being active about recycling. This may include informing employees about the benefits of recycling or encouraging them to engage in it.

But some workplaces may not do anything about recycling, which can be a severe negative in the modern day. So how do you encourage your workplace to take up green initiatives and become part of the environmentally friendly workforce?

Recycling is beneficial to everyone as it will help to reduce the amount of waste produced and sent to landfills as well as helping to reduce the impact of our carbon emissions. It’s also incredibly easy to recycle once you get started, so we’ve come up with some ways to make recycling simple, easy and accessible.

 Find Out What Should Be Recycled

There’s no point in setting up a can recycling point in your workplace if no one uses cans. It will just end up being a waste of money for the company in purchasing a specific bin and recycling service as well as taking up unnecessary space.

Instead, take a quick audit and find out what the most popular recyclable items are in your workplace. You will probably find that paper is always a number one in any office environment, so it will probably be best to start off with providing a paper and card recycling bin.

Other common products may be plastic such as bottles as people may often bring in bottles that only get used once and then thrown away. Ink and toner cartridge recycling is also important in the office, particularly in larger offices that will find themselves using lots of cartridges.

Set Up A Recycling Area

While in an ideal world everyone would have both a normal waste bin and recycling bins next to them, this is highly likely to be impossible in reality. It would simple take up too much space as well as take far too long to clean.

Going green doesn't have to be hard

Going green doesn’t have to be hard

Instead, designate an area in the office to recycling bins that everyone knows is where they should go. If you have more than one type of recycling, make sure that the bins are clearly labelled for ease of use and that they are all together. Take a look at the range of recycling bins available on OPInfo to find the perfect bins for your office.

This will mean that instead of having to go to the four corners of the office, people will simply have to take all their recycling to one point. It may not appeal to people to have to take all their recycling, but a compromise should be reached with the location of the bins.

Inform Cleaning Staff

It may not be a number one thought in most people’s minds, but cleaning staff are one of the most important aspects of any workplace. They are the people who ensure that the office looks clean and tidy by giving the area a clean in the mornings or evenings. They are usually also the people who take the rubbish out.

As such, it is important to let them know about any changes to bins so that they are aware about the recycling options. You don’t want them to accidently take out your recycling and throw it away with the normal rubbish!

Inform and Encourage People To Go Green

Arguably one of the most crucial ways to ensure that your workplace starts to recycle is to make sure that employees are aware of the recycling options. If you simply put the bins in but don’t tell anyone, then a few people will notice and use them but the majority will likely have no idea.

Send out emails, put up posters and tell people in meetings that the recycling facilities are now available and encourage their use. Inform people of why recycling is important and try to get them involved so that they feel more personally invested in the idea.

It might be a good idea to have a recycling co-ordinator that takes care of the recycling in certain departments as well as encouraging the involvement of people. If you’re finding it hard to engage people with going green, it might be advisable to start some incentives at first such as the first team to recycle x amount of paper.

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Sarah Jubb

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