Only a fraction of office waste should be thrown away since as much as 90 percent of waste in the average workplace, school or office can be recycled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Is your school or non-profit failing at the task? Here's how to improve by implementing a successful recycling program into your workplace, school or non-profit.
Get Management On Board
If the top players in your school, non-profit or volunteer organization are supportive of and participate in the recycling program, it is more likely to be successful. Management endorsement will be essential when finding financial support to manage the program. Recycling bins must to be purchased and participants will need to be motivated. According to Jennifer Berry on Inc.com, there is a larger amount of success in corporate sustainability initiatives when the request comes from top management. “People tend to respond more strongly when it's come from the CEO, for example,” said the spokeswoman for Earth911, an Arizona-based company that hosts the nation's largest recycling directory.
Conduct a Waste Audit
Determine what is being put in the trash that could be recycled. Once you know what excess materials are being thrown out you will know what type of recycling services are needed. Ask your building management or municipal waste management program what can and can't be recycled and go from there.
Appoint a Coordinator
An energetic, green-educated coordinator will make all the difference in motivating your organization to participate in a recycling program. Choose a person to oversee the program who is keen on being green and wants to help everyone understand how they can make a difference. The coordinator should have access to funds, committees and materials needed to integrate the program into the office.
Contemplating just how much stuff equals 90 percent of office waste can be a staggering thought. Start small by recycling the “no brainer” items to keep your teachers, parents and volunteers from being overwhelmed. Paper, soda cans and glass bottles are the easiest; once your group is comfortable recycling these products you can start adding ink cartridges, light bulbs, electronics and packaging materials to the recyclable list.
Clearly Label Bins and Have Instructions Posted
One main reason people don't participate in recycling programs is because they aren't well educated on the topic and recycling bins aren't clearly labeled. Establish an ongoing education program to inform your office what changes have been made. Regularly remind parents and volunteers of the recycling program's mission and clearly list what can and can't be recycled. Consider having a Q&A forum where parents and volunteers can post questions about particular items, such as what to do with greasy pizza boxes or broken glass.
Track progress and let parents and volunteers know what they've accomplished to keep them motivated. Encourage parents and volunteers by setting goals and maybe even by adding incentives or rewards. Recycling helps the planet and can also generate a small amount of revenue for your company, which could be part of the incentive program. Staples electronics recycling program offers rebates for Staples products. In 2008, the company recycled more than 22 million ink and toner cartridges in the U.S., according to Inc.com.
Post Courtesy Of SocialMonsters.org - Author: Justin Greig A self-proclaimed "21st century hippie," Justin studied Journalism at Berkeley and freelances for many environmental publications. He has a special interest in conservation, and he and his wife recently added solar panels to their home.