One of the most effective ways of managing waste is to recycle it. People generate most waste where they spend most of their time in. The two places where people spend most of their time are at work and at home.
Recycling waste at the workplace can greatly reduce the amount of waste that ultimately ends up in landfills. However, employees won’t volunteer to recycle waste unless you make it easy for them to do so. To facilitate them in this endeavour, you need to have in place a recycling program that features the following ways of increasing employee recycling.
1. Make Provision for All Types of Waste Recycling
Having a couple of waste disposal boxes where employees can dispose of unused papers and expired toners is not enough. You should provide disposal boxes for other types of waste as well. These include heavy paper lunch containers and plastics, aluminum cans, glass bottles, electronics, wraps, cleaning supply bottles, plastic bags, etc. You should, therefore, have specific disposal boxes for each type of recyclable waste.
2. Make It Convenient
Employees do not want to spend too much time looking for waste disposal bins. Have them conveniently located near areas of waste generation to enhance compliance with waste recycling requirements. You can have a recycling container in areas where employees dispose of their lunch boxes and other food containers. Place bins near workstations to make it convenient for workers to dispose of faulty or expired electronic gadgets, etc. The most important thing to do is to make it as convenient as possible for employees to recycle.
3. Clearly and Regularly Communicate Your Commitment to Recycling
Employees need to be reminded every so often about the importance of recycling. Send out an email or bulletin with information about your commitment to recycling. In that communication, list all types of waste that can be recycled at work and encourage all your staff to commit to recycling. You can also have recycling reminders posted near disposal bins and on walls, which should list various types of recyclable items.
4. Keep It Clean
Most recycling bins do not have the plastic liners that are common for landfill-bound waste. Since they are used for prolonged periods, they usually get dirty and could become breeding grounds for germs. To encourage your employees to recycle, keep them tidy and odourless at all times by cleaning and spraying them whenever necessary. The bins in the break room should be especially clean since this is where most employees lounge as they have their lunch.
5. Demonstrate How Recycling Contributes to Environmental Conservation
When employees understand how their recycling efforts fit into the big picture of environmental protection and climate change, they are more proactive and willing to recycle. Explain to them the importance of recycling. Some statistics could help jolt them into action. These include the fact that the 34.7 percent of recycled waste every year results in the reduction of greenhouse gases, equivalent to removing 34 million cars from the road. When your employees understand that their actions contribute to a global reduction in greenhouse gases, they will have no problem recycling waste.
To have a workforce that is motivated enough to play their part by recycling waste, it is important to make it as convenient as possible for them. Provide appropriate recycling bins at strategic places so they do not have to spend inordinate amounts of time locating them. Also, make sure you communicate as clearly as possible about the importance of recycling and the various recyclable items in the workplace. Buy helping the employees understand how their recycling efforts affect the global environment conservation drive, they will be more cooperative and proactive when it comes to recycling.