Business owners and managers are always looking for ways to make the workplace more profitable. Doing this while also helping the environment would be a great deal indeed. That can be done by designing an efficient waste reduction and recycling program for your workplace, effectively reducing the amount of waste generated as well as earning you some extra money!

Why do You Need a Waste Reduction and Recycling Program?

Workplace recycling program

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There are three simple reasons why you should set up a program for waste reduction, recycling, and even re-use:

  • Save Resources – The extraction and manufacturing of virgin materials, from plastic to alloys, consumes lots of energy and causes pollution. Recycling reduces those factors as well as your raw material costs.
  • Reduce Costs – Waste disposal is another activity that raises costs for your business. Recycling reduces the cost attached to waste disposal, and recycled materials ensure you spend less on buying new items along with their associated handling costs.
  • Customer Service – Customers love to do business with firms that focus some of their efforts on bettering the environment. The generated goodwill from this is worth a lot of marketing dollars.

Video on How to Reduce Waste at the Office.


You can use the following guide to design the waste reduction and recycling program that is tailored to the requirements of your office.

How to Design a Waste Reduction and Recycling Program at the Workplace?

10 Steps to Designing a Waste Reduction and Recycling Program at the Workplace:

  1. Management Support –

    Start at the very top. If the top brass supports this initiative, employees will realize that it’s serious and needs to be taken as such. You will also get the necessary personnel and equipment needed to implement this program.

  2. The ‘Green Team’ –

    Recycling is not a one-man job. Form a team comprised of interested employees who are passionate about saving the planet. The size of the team should be directly proportional to the size of your workplace and the waste it generates.

  3. Learn about ‘Waste’ –

    Recycling applies to some components of trash. The program will be effective once every member knows what can and cannot be recycled. This requires an analysis of the amount and type of trash your business generates over a period of time; say weeks to months, to arrive at a list of ‘recyclables’ and ‘non-recyclables’.

  4. Waste Hauler –

    Your office already has someone coming to collect your waste. Arrange with this hauler to collect your recyclable items and take them to a recycling center for processing.

  5. Collection System –

    Janitors play an essential role in garbage collection. They need to be a part of this system, and they should receive some level of education about recycling. Assign roles to them regarding who will collect, separate, and deliver the recyclable waste.

  6. Recycling Containers –

    Separating waste is something that has to be done and can be done at the source – the workplace where trash collects. Install clearly marked Recycling Containers that employees can use for dropping off the recyclable waste. This also makes the janitor’s job easy, improving the efficiency of the entire plan.

  7. Educate Employees –

    Recycling containers will only be successful if your employees know what should go in each bin. Educating your employees in workplace ethics is, therefore, a necessity for the recycling plan. Motivate them to do more – for instance, you could name enthusiastic employees ‘recycling champions’, or use the company intranet to publish factsheets about how recycling makes everything better.

  8. Evaluate Progress –

    A progress report from time to time will help you in different ways. They also help you to identify problem areas and resolve them, as well as act as a great motivator for employees who are doing their part for the recycling program.

  9. Keep Reporting –

    Use the progress reports to continually motivate your employees and the recycling team. You can use this tool to get more support from top management. More personnel and equipment can be requested based on the progress you are making.

  10. Expand the Program –

    Due to a lack of resources, you may have started off small with your recycling program. Once you have figured out the basics – the team is in place, the reports are coming in, and management and employees are on-board – you can expand it to make it even bigger and better!