11 Simple Ways to Increase Office Recycling

11 Simple Ways to Increase Office Recycling

Most workplaces now have some form of office recycling program, but it may be limited and there is always more you can be doing to protect the environment. Recycling and a sustainable way of operating is now a desirable business trait to many potential employees and partners, so increasing office recycling can also be seen as a positive because it improves brand image.

In this article, we will look at why it’s important and provide you with 11 simple office recycling solutions that will reduce your carbon footprint.

Why is Office Recycling Important? 

Before we look at tips for increasing office recycling, it’s important to understand why it’s important. The purpose and benefits of recycling in an office include:

Protecting the Environment

Recycling common office waste such as paper, aluminium cans and plastic bottles minimises the need to manufacture new materials and reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Production of new materials involves using energy, material extraction and finite resources, so reducing this helps protect the environment.

Leading to Cost Savings  

Many businesses don’t realise the money that can be saved by increasing their office recycling. It helps offset the expense of existing waste management and disposal methods, saving money in the long term. Recycling bins for valuable recyclable material such as aluminium and cardboard will help you save money where you would previously lose it.

Elevating Your Brand

As we mentioned, a powerful social conscience can help a business inspire company growth and win new partnerships. Incorporating office recycling and green initiatives can attract and retain a greater number of people when it comes to both employees and customers. Be vocal about your recycling efforts and it could inspire loyalty and help increase growth.

Office Recycling Solutions

Now we know the value it can bring, let’s look at some simple ways businesses can increase their office recycling.

1. Recycle More

This may sound obvious, but there are more materials that can be recycled other than paper and aluminium. Computers, mobile phones and other e-waste items all contribute to landfills, so conducting a waste audit of your office could give you a better understanding of what is being thrown away and whether it could be recycled instead.

2. Introduce Centralised Recycling Bins

Removing individual waste and recycling bins, opt for centralised waste and recycling stations instead. Employees sorting their own rubbish encourages them to think about what it is they’re throwing out, raising awareness about the importance of a recycling project. It also reduces stream contamination.  

3. Consider Recycling Bin Locations

Think about how visible recycling bins are in your office. A quick company survey could improve access to recycling bins. It’s also worth asking your employees where they would like them placed, improving your recycling results.

4. Download an App That Tells You What Can Be Recycled

One of the main barriers to office recycling is employees don’t know what can and can’t be recycled. An app is a simple solution to this, which can educate employees and give them real-time access to useful information regarding recycling.

5. Run Weekly Recycling Challenges

Weekly recycling challenges and rewards can further motivate employees to get on board with the project. It gives them an additional reason to care, and this could be for an early finish, team social or anything else.

6. Set Monthly Targets

Setting a clear and specific goal every month is another way of encouraging employees to get on board with your recycling program and improving results. This can be a focus on material or a numerical goal. Make it a big deal around the company and regularly update everyone with their progress.

7. Buy Recycled Products

You’ll also be protecting the environment if you buy recycled products as well as recycling your own waste. Tell your teams to point out company supplies that aren’t recycled and source cheaper, green alternatives.

8. Separate Organics

Have a separate bin for food waste. This could increase your business’ diversion rate and help you reach zero waste. Compostable materials contribute to fertilisers that help grow crops, revive nutrient deficient land and can even produce power. Organics include food, paper towels and napkins, coffee grounds and tea bags, cardboard sleeves from takeaway cups and compostable plates and cutlery.

9. Don’t Use Take Away Cups

On the subject of tea and coffee, a pivotal part of office life in the UK, avoid using takeaway cups to increase your office recycling. They result in unnecessary waste and can easily be replaced with reusable coffee mugs.

10. Reuse Old Supplies

Tell your employees if they have any old office furniture, phones, computers, or other equipment they no longer use, they should place it in a designated ‘upcycle station’. Then introduce a policy where if employees need any new office supplies, they should check the station before re-ordering any new items. This can reduce the need to throw old equipment away and lead to cost savings.

11. Go Paperless

You might not be able to go completely paperless but reducing the amount of paper used around the office is a great office recycling solution. Editing and proofing documents, taking notes and setting reminders can all be done on the computer. If anything needs printing, encourage printing on both sides. There are so many things you can to do reduce your paper use around the office, all of which will contribute to a more successful recycling project.

Using our tips will help you make your office more sustainable. Take some time to discuss each of them with your green team and focus on the ones that are easiest to achieve first. Not only are you helping protect the environment, but you might find it leads to new business and more talent as well.