Sometimes it can be difficult to encourage your employees to recycle, they’ve got a million and one things to do on their task list & recycling may not be one of them. You’ve got the recycling containers, but now you need to use them - here’s how you can encourage your employees to recycle.
EducateYou need to give your employees a reason to recycle. Pull together some waste statistics from your organization & reasons why you’ve implemented a recycling program – is it to help the environment? Is it to reduce company overheads? It is to reduce your waste generation? If your employees are aware of why they should be recycling, it can help to remind them about the effects their choices may cause. It’s easy to distribute your messages and educational information through your usual promotional avenues such as e-mails, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations and meetings.
Signage is such an important component in the recycling process and is crucial to employee understanding. Come up with some ‘key messages’ that are catchy and easy to remember and use these to remind your employees of your program. Signage can also be used to instruct users of what material can or cannot be recycled in each container, which will help to prevent cross-contamination across your bins – check out some ideas of how to personalize your recycling containers.
We’re all naturally competitive – so why not use this to your advantage and set targets among your departments? You may find your employees will jump to the opportunity to exceed your expectations and participate in some friendly competition. Consider monthly reviews of how your organization is performing against your targets, this can help you identify areas in your program which may need improvements.
If you’ve set targets – great! But don’t forget it’s important you recognize the hard work of everyone involved and celebrate the achievement of meeting and exceeding targets. If possible, provide incentives to increase participation and inspire employees to work towards your targets (because who doesn’t love a free lunch?) It could also be a good idea to vocalize your recycling performance through monthly announcements to keep employees informed and motivated.
The opinions of staff can be invaluable for uncovering problems not initially identified. You have a diverse range of employees which means you’re likely to have a diverse range of ideas! Send out bi-annual surveys to gain fresh ideas that will allow you to make improvements to your recycling program & increase the involvement of your employees.
Regularly refresh your approach
Signage may become unnoticed over time so it’s important you regularly refresh your approach to encourage staff to keep up their recycling efforts. Try using different methods of communicating information to keep your employees interested & up to date with your latest recycling efforts.
|The recycling containers are empty||To ensure your employees are exposed to the recycling containers, it is you important you consider the optimal siting and where it will be used most often. For example, a food waste recycling container is likely to be used in the break room.|
|The recycling containers are getting full too quickly|
It may be useful to bring in additional containers to accommodate the amount of waste that is generated in your workplace.
Alternatively, you could arrange a more regular collection and emptying schedule for the containers.
|The containers are getting contaminated||Ensure your general trash cans and recycling bins are next to one another – the bins may receive unwanted material if users are not given the opportunity to dispose of their recyclable waste correctly.|
|Recyclable material is ending up in the trash can||Is there enough signage indicating what materials are included in your recycling program? It’s important you remind your employees what can or can’t go in each container to prevent contamination. It may be worth investing in additional signage or alternatively, sending a polite reminder to employees highlighting the guidelines of the program.|
|Some employees aren't using the containers|
You need to ensure that all of your employees are aware and educated about your recycling program. Are they aware of the benefits recycling can have? Are they aware of any incentives or rewards you may be offering?
Don’t forget to ensure new starters are aware too by including your recycling program in your induction process.
If you’d like more information on our recycling bins for business or improving your existing recycling program – let us know!
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