Every day, our staff receives emails and phone calls from people interested in starting a recycling program at their business or workplace. They’re looking for a way to add business recycling services at their office, building or manufacturing facility. Sometimes, adding recycling to a company’s current services is easy. Other times, there are just a few extra steps to start recycling. To get the process started, I ask the caller a few key questions:
- What is the name of your business?
- Where are you located?
- How many employees do you have?
- Who is your current waste hauler?
- What do you wish to recycle?
- Does the owner or CEO support your efforts?
The caller may respond “Well, I just want some general information” and I must explain that business recycling is not a one-size-fits-all answer.
So, how DO you start recycling at your workplace?
If you are a small office with a few employees, you will probably not produce enough recyclables to make it worthwhile for a service provider or hauling company to pick them up. The best recycling option would be to take the items to your home.
Or, if you’re a small office that is a tenant in a larger building with other offices or tenants, the answer may be different. Contact the building owner or property manager about setting up recycling for the building. Be prepared to provide contact information for the Solid Waste District so we can assist building management with the process.
Who do you hire to pick up your recyclable materials?
There are a few factors to consider:
- Are you interested in a mixed stream recycling program, including cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, mixed paper and cardboard plus plastic bottles and jugs, for your office?
- Are you a larger manufacturer or distributor who may have large enough quantities to get paid for your commodities?
The company you hire to pick up your recyclables will depend on the quantity you produce, how often you produce it and the items that you will have. A two ton minimum is sometimes required for certain recycling companies to pick up on a regular basis.
The major waste hauling companies in our area can provide front load recycling dumpsters for mixed recycling: cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, mixed paper, cardboard, plus plastic bottles and jugs. But, installing a front load recycling dumpster may be affected by the footprint of the building. Your options may be more limited if your business has a tiny footprint or a space that is too small.
Once you have chosen what items you will recycle at work and how it will be managed or picked up, you will need to set up convenient collection points in your workplace with either blue or green containers and proper signage. Recycling education will be required and the Solid Waste District is here to help with education and outreach for employees. We can help you launch an easy to understand recycling program for your workplace, including site visits, free seminars and employee lunch-and-learns
Setting up a workplace recycling program may seem complex. But, you don’t have to figure it out on your own – the Solid Waste District staff know what to do and can help you through the waste reduction process step-by-step. We’ll help you set up your workplace recycling program and make it sustainable long term.
About the Author
Doreen Schreiber is the business recycling specialist for the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. For assistance on setting up a recycling program at a business or workplace in Cuyahoga County, call (216) 443-3732.POSTED ON: