Have you noticed how much waste is produced in your workplace? Far too often we sit around waiting for others to take some initiative, rather than taking accountability for our own rubbish. Implementing recycling strategies at work may take some time, but good habits will stick with sufficient training. Read on to find out what you can do now, and how to reduce waste and sustain a green workplace.
When introducing something new into your routine, like most things, you need to create a habit to get it to stick long term. In order to implement a successful recycling initiative, all staff must be informed, and clear on their responsibilities. In a recycling training program, ensure that you focus on communicating what the program aims to achieve, why the program has been initiated, and what is expected from each employee. The success rate of a recycling program is higher when employees are clear on what’s expected and why their contribution is important to the cause.
To get your team started, make it fun! Get the team to make a list of wasteful materials in the office and how the waste can be reduced. E.g. Printing, paper cups.
Confusion and lack of awareness about recycling facilities will derail your recycling initiative. To get the habit to stick, recycling needs to be clear and simple. Absent signage will lead to people to the waste disposal method that they know. Make things easy for everyone in the workplace by placing signage on recycling paper boxes and disposal bins.
Recycling rates increase when it’s acknowledged that recycling is inconvenient. Without any sense of accountability, the habit of recycling can be hard to maintain throughout the workplace. However, by placing recycling bins in easy to access spaces, people are more likely to make the change.
In a workplace study, a paper recycling bin was placed in a utility room. Only 28% of paper used in the office was put in this bin to be recycled. However, when a recycle tray was placed on each desk in the office 94% of the paper was recycled.
Reducing paper waste in the workplace is as simple as thinking twice about the decision. If your workplace is still working on paper rather than digitally, consider how you could implement more of a digital workflow. For instance, can you send paperwork through an email instead of posting it out?
If you need to print something, consider making tweaks to how you print. For example, only use black and white ink and colour ink when necessary. Instead of printing on one side, adopt double-sided printing to save paper.
To sustain a recycling program, staff need to feel motivated to make the change in their set ways. Often staff doesn’t recycle because they don’t know why their contribution matters. Ensure that each employee knows what is expected of them, and then speak to that expectation in feedback sessions. With regular communication to staff about recycling and specific feedback regarding the total amount recycled, staff will be able to see why their contribution matters.
Motivated staff will lead to greater results. To get some momentum for the project, consider some collaborative activities, or a fun competition such as bestowing a recycling champion.