Prepare For the Future: Start a Recycling Program
As the owner of a small business, one thing that you can do to take care of the environment is recycle. By establishing a recycling program in your small business, you help reduce carbon emissions, save energy, conserve natural resources and help create a better future for the world. Commonly recycled items include:
Paper and cardboard
- Office paper, magazines, newspaper, cardboard boxes, dairy and juice cartons, junk mail.
- Must be cleaned out first. One dirty plastic item can spoil a whole bin of plastics, causing thousands of plastics to end up in a landfill that were supposed to be recycled.
- Soda and water bottles, jugs, jars. Do not put plastic grocery bags in recycling bins.
- Must be cleaned out first. Take labels off.
- Aluminum cans, aluminum foil, steel and tin cans.
- Must be cleaned out first. Take off metal and plastic lids.
- Clear, green and brown glass bottles, jars, etc.
- You cannot recycle mixed colors of broken glass, mirror or window glass, ceramics such as dishes or heat-resistant glass such as Pyrex.
You will need separate bins for each recyclable. If you are unsure about whether or not you can recycle a certain product, look to the Waste Management recycling page.
Now you know what you can and cannot recycle, but what about your business plan? If you don’t know where to start with creating a recycling program, let us share some steps you can follow to make a successful plan.
Analyze your office
Before starting a recycling program, look around you and observe the type of trash that generates in your place of work. You probably see paper, plastic, metal cans, food, etc. If you have employees, ask them what kinds of trash they normally see in the workspace or what they usually throw away. Of all of this trash, what could you have recycled? Make a list of recyclable items and post it in front of the trash and recycling bins.
Talk to the waste management department of your city
Once you have made a list of recyclables, contact the waste management department of your city to ask what they pick up and recycle and on what days. In this way, you can get an easy start to your program by focusing only on the items that your city picks up. Pick two or three recyclables at the beginning. The easiest are paper, water bottles and soda bottles.
Put someone in charge of the program
The size of your business does not matter. To make your recycling program a success, put someone in charge of it. Pick someone who is passionate about environmental issues. This way it will be easier to establish a routine and to ensure the program will last. This person will coordinate the schedule and locations of recycling bins and will be in contact with the waste management department.
Promote the recycling program within your company
Create incentives between your employees so that everyone feels part of the initiative and wants to participate. You can offer prizes to the employees who are the most committed to the recycling program by offering movie tickets or restaurant gift cards. This system will help you improve your work place while also improving the environment.
Creating a recycling program for your small business is not as difficult as it may seem. Try out these techniques to join us in the effort to ensure a better future.
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