If you are based in Westminster, recycling services are widely available. The recycling process, however, does not start on the pavement where bins and bags are placed. It starts right in the workplace.
Two key workplace recycling issues that we find time and again are:
- the availability of waste storage for different types of recycling
- clear signage about their use
This photo, that we were sent, is typical of something you may find in your workplace. If so, then you may not be recycling in the most effective way.
Take a look. Is this actually the recycling bin? Does it make clear what actually goes in this receptacle? Could it be a little confusing?
It seems that recycling policies in the workplace are a constant source of humour as we can be so poor at making enough provision or communicating ‘how to do it’. These two examples were found on Pinterest courtesy of someecards.
Your workforce almost certainly wants to be good at recycling both for the environment and for a cleaner and clearer workspace. So here are some ideas for improving the communication of recycling practices in your workplace.
- Make a list of the most common types of materials you generate that can be recycled. If you are in an office environment, that is probably paper, boxes, ink cartridges etc. If you are a restaurant or bar that might well be bottles and food waste.
- Make sure that your receptacles for these items are very clearly labelled with images and descriptions of what can go in each receptacle. Here at Westminster City Council’s Commercial Waste Service we have supplies of these for our customers. You can also find lots of examples on the web e.g. editable posters from WRAP’s (The Waste and Resources Action Programme charity) website. Click on the images to see their library.
- Place your receptacles as near to the point where waste is created as possible. Anywhere where printing or copying takes place (yes – we are all guilty there!) or where food and drinks are consumed are both prime spots.
- Communicate the “why it makes a difference”. Sadly our earlier photo fails not only in lack of clear information but in hinting that the motivation is ‘not getting into trouble’. We need to be more positive – tell fellow workers that it takes 95% less energy to recycle an old can into a new one rather than create one from raw materials.
- Finally, if you create lots of a specific type of waste (e.g. retailers deal with loads of cardboard) look at investing in a compactor that reduces the size of the recycling to be collected. That in itself has the benefits of needing a smaller storage area and potentially lower collection costs.
Not only should your organisation feel much better about itself and its approach to recycling, but you should also free up some valuable space and reduce waste disposal costs.
Get your Westminster Recycling Stickers
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