It’s estimated that the average person is responsible for some 4.5 pounds of trash per day and 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. And while estimates indicate that roughly 75 percent of all solid waste is recyclable, studies say that only about 30 percent of it really is recycled.
That’s a lot of waste on an individual level. With that in mind, just imagine how much more is being wasted on a company level. Recycling can not only benefit the environment, but also help benefit a company’s bottom line. You should already be doing the little things – like ensuring that recyclable materials (i.e. plastics) are separated from non-recyclable materials – but there’s a lot more to recycling than just these basics. So if you’re looking to really amp up your recycling efforts and really start your own recycling program, here’s a look at five tips to consider:
Assess: The first step in starting a recycling plan is knowing where you can truly make an impact in an organization. Conduct a thorough evaluation of your organization and analyze what’s popping up in the trash – and trash dumpster – and what can be recycled. After you have a better idea of where you can make an impact, then you can take further steps, such as…
Organizing a “green team”: Don’t just send a company e-mail out and expect people to follow it. There needs to be training and specific direction to inform everyone how to make a difference. That’s where a green team, or recycling committee, comes in – they are the ones that can come up with this recycling plan based on the evaluation that is conducted and help people in all areas of the organization understand what they need to do to execute.
Equipment: To really amplify recycling efforts, you’ll likely need some advanced recycling equipment, as such hardware can help separate the recyclable materials from the non-recyclable ones. Heavy duty recycling equipment is available in different varieties, such as mechanical, optical, manual sorting and vibratory to better streamline the recovery and recycling process.
Promote recycling: So you’ve helped come up with a recycling plan and have a system in place on the company-wide level. Don’t forget about the individual level. Be sure that you’re posting tips and other recycling information around the office that also helps inform people how they can make a difference on a smaller scale. For instance, recycling 2,000 pounds of paper per year can help save 380 gallons of oil and 7,000 gallons of water. Be sure people know how important it is to recycle – and not crumble up and throw away – paper.
Reward: Make sure you’re tracking the recycling success and what impact it’s having on the organization’s bottom line and the environment. Let people know about the difference they’re making and consider seeing if management will spend some of the money you’re saving on a catered lunch a few times a year to thank everyone.
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