Recycle at work
Recycling at work is easy to set up and run, could save you money and helps to protect the environment.
What to recycle?
The first step in identifying what to recycle involves identifying the key materials that are thrown away. In simple terms, this might be achieved by looking in refuse bins at different locations around your premises. For a more accurate picture, you could conduct a waste review.
JRD Mouldings is saving £1,700 a year by recycling rubber waste from their manufacturing process. They have reduced waste to landfill by two skips a week. The company's starting point was to conduct a simple waste audit to establish how much waste they were creating and where it was coming from.
What will it cost?
Business rates do not cover waste and recycling services. The cost of the service depends on a number of factors, including how much recycling you are producing, where your business is located and what materials you want to recycle. Waste contractors will sell some of the materials that they collect from you if they're in the right condition, however, the revenue from these materials is generally not enough to offset the cost of providing the service.
Before seeking quotes, you should examine the costs that you are currently paying to use as a benchmark. It is highly recommended to seek several quotations in order to achieve the best price.
Ideally, you will reduce the capacity (or frequency of collection) of your refuse service when you start recycling. This will help to offset the costs of the service and may lead to savings overall.
I see no point in just sending things to the tip. Recycling at work is easy if you are committed to the idea. With me, it's just part of my general ethos, and it's good to give something back.
- James Johnson, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre
What should I consider when looking for a waste/recycling provider?
As well as the cost of the service, there are a number of things that should be considered when looking for a service provider and entering into a contract with them.
How do I encourage staff to use the recycling service?
Clear communications are very important to ensure that people use the recycling bins and put the correct items in them. Tell them why you are starting to recycle - for example, why it will save money and what the environmental benefits will be.
Here are some of our top tips.
- Encourage senior management to get involved: their buy-in is important and it is beneficial for messages to come from them.
- Information about the recycling services can be cascaded at team meetings, through the intranet, internal newsletters and e-zines, as well as verbally and by using posters.
- Speak to cleaning staff to ensure that they recycle correctly.
- Remove individual 'under desk' bins and install single waste and recycling points. This increases the amount of material recycled by removing the temptation for people to 'easily' throw away. It is important that this is clearly communicated in advance. You are likely to see some initial resistance, but people soon get used to the new system.
WRAP have developed some posters to help you get the message out, including some that could be stuck on or near the recycling bins to indicate which materials can or cannot be recycled.
The staff are excellent at keeping the materials for recycling separate. A lot of them came up to me when the scheme began, to say it was about time we started recycling at work!
- Steve Cavalli, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust