It is estimated that the process of recycling has been around for thousands of years, but it is the environmental movement of the 1970s that really facilitated the creation of programs around the world. Most people when given the choice will make the decision the recycle materials that are able to be reused. However many eligible materials still end up in landfill sites.
As a result, steps need to be taken to ensure people recycle whenever they can and this is especially important when it comes to large companies with many employees that use a lot of materials. Below are four ways to get people to recycle in your office, allowing you to do your part in helping the environment.
Recycling programs have been implemented in most parts of the civilized world. However, many people are still confused by it and subsequently refuse to recycle eligible items. This is due in part by not being educated about the process.
To get employees to recycle eligible materials, educate them on how to do it. Through seminars, emails, and postage around the office, inform them of what materials that may be present in the office are recyclable. Also let them know where recycle bins are located so they know where materials go. In doing so, employees will have every opportunity to choose to throw materials into the blue box instead of the garbage because they will be more well-informed.
2. Make bins visible
You could have many recycle bins in your office ready to receive materials to be picked up. However, if employees are unaware of them or where they are located, they will still choose to dispose of materials in the garbage.
In order for you to increase the amount of materials you recycle in your office, make sure that bins are identifiable and visible. Obviously, the universal colour for recycling is blue so having bins of this colour will assist people in knowing where they can put recyclable materials. Put the bins in plain sight where people can see them and access them as opposed to hidden away where people may not look for them.
3. Place bins strategically
Having your bins easily identifiable and visible is key in having people recycle. However, putting them in places where people are more likely to handle eligible materials will mean more opportunity to recycle them.
To maximize the amount of materials you recycle, place bins strategically around your office in places where people can easily access them. For example, place a recycle bin for paper near your printer and photocopier. Place bins for plastic, bottles, and cans in the lunchroom where people notice them when it is time to dispose of things they had in their lunch. Placing bins next to the garbage can will force employees to notice them when they go to throw something in the garbage, giving them the opportunity to make the choice to recycle.
4. Have labels
Many times, people do not recycle because they are unsure of what materials fit the bill. Therefore, if you have labels on bins outlining what can be recycled, you will be increasing the likelihood of people recycling.
For all recycling bins that you have in your office, have labels for what material goes where. For instance, many companies have multi-streamed bins where materials can be sorted. These are usually labelled clearly so people who go to recycled know what items are accepted. Having these labels will let employees know what materials can be accepted for recycling. This is important because when in doubt people will usually just throw what they have in the trash can.