Recycling is something we’re all keen to be a part of, whether it’s at home or in the workplace, but unfortunately making the transition from using traditional waste management schemes to using greener techniques isn’t always as easy to do as we’d like.
While there is a wide variety of options open to businesses looking to lower their carbon footprint (renewable energy, reduced resource use, etc), recycling is one of the easiest to implement as well as being one of the most effective.
Here, we look at a few actionable tips for businesses looking to recycle.
Separate your bins
Recycling is reliant upon the separation of materials and by far the simplest way to do this is at the earliest possible point. For most offices, this means providing separate receptacles for different materials.
Wherever your office currently has one bin, you should look to provide a number of bins – each one clearly marked with its contents. Your business shouldn’t be creating any more waste than before so this shouldn’t technically require any extra space to be taken up.
Bring your staff on board
Making recycling a reality obviously requires more than a tokenistic change in company policy. Most important is the awareness among all employees of what this actually means for them.
This will require staff to be trained and made aware of all recycling schemes which you’ve put in place. If staff are reluctant to get involved for any reason then it might help to create incentives and schemes which help get everyone used to the changes and encourage full participation.
Manage waste removal
What you do with your waste when it leaves your site is likely to depend on the facilities available in your local area. It could certainly be worth considering waste compactor hire to make your loads smaller and to require fewer trips to the recycling facilities but regardless of your end choice it’s important to take responsibility for where your waste ends up rather than passing the buck when it leaves your site.
Where your goods come from is just as important as where they go when they’re used up. In addition to buying and using recycled products wherever possible (stationary is an absolute must), it’s important to ensure that you buy materials which can be recycled easily in your local area and have green manufacturing processes.
This can affect the buying process for just about everything from paper and pens to water containers and computers which can translate to a big – and positive – change for your business.
While recycling may typically make you think of reusing materials for office supplies and reducing waste, it can also mean switching to greener energy systems. In fact, in many ways you can view certain “green” energies as a form of recycling – wind and hydro power generation both utilise existing resources for other purposes and rely on clean, renewable energy forms that do not harm the environment.
If you want to make your business go green then you need to find ways to switch to cleaner fuel for your power – whether that means installing your own solar panels or switching to hydroelectricity for your office.
The Carbon Trust has plenty of advice for businesses looking to go green and you can also view a list of accredited businesses who can install energy-efficient and renewable tech in your business at http://www.carbontrust.com/resources/tools/green-business-directory.