Over 30% of the U.S. waste stream is paper, and the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year. In addition to paper, businesses produce additional waste that could easily be recycled. Recycling is an important step because it diverts materials from landfills; thus, extending the life of the landfill, saving taxpayers and communities money, and using a normally wasted material as a feedstock for a new product.
To begin a recycling program at work, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful suggests the following steps:
- Select a Recycling Coordinator – You’ll need an enthusiastic, well-organized coordinator with good communication skills.
- Look at How Much Material is Discarded – Review disposal records or use estimations to determine the amount of material generated.
- Review Where Materials are Generated – Where are the ideal locations for recycling containers throughout your office? Are materials generated in offices, break rooms, copy rooms, loading docks?
- Choose What to Collect – What types of recyclable materials does your business usually generate?
- Determine Hauling Options – Will you drop off recyclables or have a service company pick them up?
- Decide on the Collection Method – Where are the ideal locations for recycling containers throughout your office?
- Determine the Custodial Staff Role – Will your custodians help gather recyclable materials?
- Promote Your Program - Spreading the word will ensure the success of your recycling program.
- Measure Your Progress - Use your baseline data at the start of your program to compare and track your progress over time.
- Celebrate Success!