Implementing a recycling program in the workplace has many benefits for both your business and the environment. On average, 80 to 90 percent of solid waste generated in the workplace can be recycled. Establishing a recycling program is easy and will not just reduce your carbon footprint, it can also save money.
Benefits of Recycling
- Reduce the Size of Landfills: As industries develop and grow, so do landfills. Making new products from processed materials limits the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities. Recycling reduces harmful air and water pollutants and decreases the strain on our environment.
- Conserve Natural Resources: Recycling conserves natural resources such as oil, gas, timber, water, and minerals. Many junk items made from these resources are crowding landfills. Items such as aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, plastic bags, and paper can be recycled to be used over and over again, ensuring new resources aren’t exploited.
- Save Energy: When products are manufactured from recycled materials, we reduce the need for raw materials and save the required energy to extract and convert those materials. For example, recycling aluminum cans save 95 percent of the energy required to produce new cans from raw materials. The energy saved by recycling conserves oil and gasoline use which significantly reduces costs and reliance on foreign oil.
- Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recycling saves energy which reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Core recyclables such as cans, glass, and paper are among the recyclable items that have the greatest potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Creates Employment Opportunities: Recycling itself is a large industry that continues to grow. Recycling must be sorted and then shipped to the right center where the materials will be converted into new items. This undertaking requires thousands and continues to offer new employment as the industry grows.
How to Get Started?
Before implementing a recycling program, you will need to conduct an audit of your facility to find what kind of waste is being produced and which items you want to include in your recycling initiative. A good place to start is with common recyclable items such as paper, plastic, and aluminum. As employees become more aware of the program, you can incorporate other recyclable objects, like ink cartridges, electronics, and computers.
Many businesses pay to rent dumpsters and consider recycling services to be an unnecessary expense. But, the easiest way to cut disposal costs is by reducing the volume of waste your business produces. Recycling limits the amount of waste that goes into the dumpster which considerably reduces rental fees and disposal costs. In addition to waste removal savings, recycling can generate revenue for your company. Companies with comprehensive recycling programs sometimes offer rebates on products while others will pay for old electronics and computers.
To make sure the initiative is successful, you will need to appoint a coordinator to oversee the program and provide ongoing education. Make it a goal to educate everyone from the CEO to the janitorial staff about the program and what item’s can and cannot be recycled. The initiative should be inclusive from the top down to motivate employee participation. Strategically place recycling containers in areas where the most trash is generated, and clearly specify which material goes in which. Encourage participation and raise awareness by tracking progress or by offering rewards and incentives.
There are numerous benefits when businesses implement a waste reduction initiative. Not only will your business contribute to the conservation of natural resources and energy, reduce waste disposal costs, but ultimately you reduce the burden your company has on the environment by limiting the amount of waste produced. And with an ever increasing consumer demand for sustainable products and environmentally conscious businesses, recycling can increase customer loyalty. Working on an environmental project can also lead to a boost in employee morale.
Take advantage of all of the benefits of recycling and start an office recycling program today!