Recycling for businesses: How to get started

Sep 2, 2022

Employees enjoy using the Commercial Recycling program offered by Waste Connections.

Having a well-developed and robust recycling program in place is critical for businesses – not only to help protect the environment through the reuse of materials, but also to save on waste disposal costs.

Starting and sustaining a recycling program for a business can be daunting; however, we are here to help. We’ve put together some insights to help you get started, and tips for keeping your recycling program going strong.

Implementing a recycling program

The first step in starting a recycling program is to assess your business’s needs and resources. What types of waste does your business produce? Can all or some of these waste materials be recycled? Are there any local regulations that you need to take into account?

Take  time to consider how the collected recyclables get to the recycling facility. If you use a janitorial service, do you have clear instructions on what they should do with your recyclables? Will they make sure the items get to the recycling container out back, or will they just bag them up and throw them away in the trash container? Once you have a good understanding of your business’s specific recycling needs and have established the proper disposal procedures, you can start to put together a plan.

There are a few different ways to approach the planning phase of recycling in the workplace. One option is to set up collection bins at your office location(s) for employees to deposit recyclable materials and then taking those collected recyclables to a local facility. Another option is to work with a recycling company to pick up recyclables from your business.

Whichever approach you choose, be sure to provide employees with clear instructions on what materials can be recycled and where they should go.

Sustaining a recycling program

A recycling program is not a one-time event – it’s an ongoing process that requires commitment from everyone involved.

So, implementing a successful recycling program requires more than just setting up collection bins or working with a local recycling company. You need to make sure that your employees are properly educated on the program in order to keep it running smoothly. Here are a few tips for sustaining a successful recycling program within your business:

  • Establish clear guidelines and procedures for recycling at your business. Take steps to make sure the items your employees throw into their personal recycling containers end up in the large recycling containers outside. The last thing you want to do is risk losing your employees’ trust.
  • Make sure employees are aware of the guidelines and know how to participate in the program by sending out e-blasts or posting memos around the workplace.
  • Regularly check collection bins to ensure they are not overflowing, and to make sure your employees are depositing only recyclable materials. If they aren’t, take advantage of the opportunity to provide educational resources and information on not just recycling best practices, but also “reducing” and “reusing” guidelines.
  • Empty your indoor collection bins on a regular basis to avoid build-up of recyclables.
  • Keep an eye on costs associated with your recycling program and look for ways to reduce expenses even further.

The benefits of recycling for businesses

Recycling benefits businesses, both economically and environmentally.

Additionally, recycling can also help your business gain a competitive edge by differentiating you from other businesses that do not have recycling programs in place. So be sure you are making your customers and stakeholders aware of your program to maximize the monetary benefits it’s providing.

We know that starting and sustaining a commercial recycling program can be daunting. That’s why we’re providing you with the above tips. For even more resources and information, feel free to visit our commercial recycling webpage. From there, you can also request a free quote, which includes a complimentary waste audit, on the commercial recycling programs we offer.

Recent Posts