For many businesses it's important to engage in responsible waste management for more reasons than just the good of the planet. Commercial factors such as documenting office recycling rates in annual reports or demonstrating ethical leadership is accountable stuff - but how do you engage a busy workforce to care about recycling as much as you?
We interviewed some of our 2017 top recyclers to give you some simple and actionable tips to improve your recycling rates and reduce your environmental impact. Try these out in your business, and you'll be on your way to a 90% recycling rate in no time...
Everything is recycled – even our used coffee grounds are recycled via First Mile and turned into biofuel (Kerttu, Union Roasted)
1. Keep things simple
“If you can recycle without needing to think too hard, more staff will adopt better practices " (Amanda, EEF Venues).
Amanda from EEF Venues finds that simplicity is best. Having an abundance of easy to understand bags, bins and posters, allows businesses to recycle more without having to travel too far to recycle. Having a mixed recycling bag instead of separate streams also helps take the thought out of recycling. Once we collect the recycling bags, we'll do the sorting so you don’t have too!
2. Forming a Green Team
“Setting up a team responsible for improving sustainability and waste management in your office, means that you’ll have constant monitoring that can inspire the wider team.” (Kerttu, Union Roasted)
Green Teams are no longer exclusive to the public sector. They are popping up across all sorts of businesses to help employees engage in greener activities. Setting up a Green Team will allow key staff members to feel more involved with the recycling process, allowing them to engage and encourage their colleagues to do the same.
3. Inspire with knowledge
"Using real examples and cool facts about how recycling can positively impact the environment is a great way to help people understand the impact they can have." (Kitty, Pip & Nut).
We've all been inspired by Blue Planet 2, reminding us how important recycling is in the fight to save our planet. By using real world examples, whether that's saving the adorable sea otter or reducing plastic in our oceans, staff can see the impact of recycling and will be inspired to do their bit.
4. Monthly recycling reports
“We share regular updates from our First Mile recycling reports so everyone gets an idea of the impact we’re having." (Kitty, Pip & Nut).
Put your free First Mile monthly recycling reports to good use! Send it around in monthly updates, report it in your all-company stand-ups and encourage questions as to what you should and shouldn't be recycling. The reports can be used to encourage the office to recycle smarter, whilst keeping you on track for your annual award.
5. Introduce a new recycling stream
"Food composting, both in our busy venues and office areas, has had a big impact." (Amanda, EEF Venues).
By introducing additional recycling streams in your business, such as food waste, you'll reduce the amount you put into general waste. Not only will this increase your recycling rate, but it'll save you money too.