How to Encourage Recycling at the Office

Recycling used to be considered fashionable, but with overcrowded landfills, climate change, and the state of the environment on everyone’s minds lately, recycling has become vital. Waste removal is also expensive and, as a company, encouraging your employees to recycle is not only good for the planet, but it can also have an effect on your bottom line.

Since we encourage companies to recycle and reuse shipping and storage containers on the industrial side of business, we know just how important it is to do so across all industries. Just because you don’t work in the manufacturing industry doesn’t mean there are specific ways you can work green solutions into your company culture. Here are some tips on how to develop and implement a recycling policy at your office. 



If you want to institute a recycling policy, you need to begin by auditing the company in terms of waste generation. Take stock of where waste is generated, the type of waste that is being created, and the waste removal strategies currently in place. 

An audit will help you to define what waste the company generates, the rate at which that waste is being generated, and where the waste is being generated. This information will allow you to select the right types of containers for your waste as well as placing you in a position to define what containers will serve you best and where they will best serve your needs.


Create a Policy

Once you have an idea about the waste your company generates, you can begin to prepare a policy on what your company should be recycling. Consulting your staff on ways to recycle can be helpful. Staff participation in policies can be a valuable tool in getting the staff to support company policy. 

Make sure your recycling policy includes what waste needs to be recycled as well as including your recycling goals. Goals are a valuable motivational tool for companies. Paper forms a large proportion of waste for many companies. Try to maximize paper usage and minimize wastage by using both sides of the paper, for example. You could also consider using shredded paper for packing purposes to reduce packaging costs and increase recycling.


Educate Your Staff

Knowledge is power and, in the case of recycling, understanding why the company needs or wants to recycle creates an understanding among the staff that can help to motivate them to recycle where possible. Understanding the effects on the bottom line and the effects on company reputation can motivate the staff to participate willingly in the company’s recycling policy.  


Encourage Teamwork

Create teams and set recycling goals for your teams. Creating a healthy atmosphere of teamwork and competition between different areas of the company can help to motivate staff to achieve your recycling goals. Teamwork also encourages staff members to encourage and educate one another.

Since recycling often has a cost implication, use a financial incentive based on your recycling efforts to incentivize the teams. You could, for example, pledge a certain portion of the savings to your annual Christmas party or company gathering. 


Share Your Efforts

Green companies are responsible companies. Do not be afraid to add your recycling bins and efforts to areas where your customers may see them. Customers are supporting greener companies and are often eager to help or to get involved in community projects.


Choose The Right Containers

Once you have set your recycling goals, then it is time to work out which containers will serve your needs best. Second hand containers can be a great way to set the right recycling tone in the company. Used containers are also often much cheaper than new ones, which means you can afford to purchase containers for each area of the company. Make sure you select the right type of containers. 

Smaller baskets can be useful at the copiers and printers to help to encourage the recycling of paper products. Larger bins may be more suitable in your packaging areas and warehouses, where cardboard containers and boxes can be recycled. Smaller bins are suitable for the kitchen or canteen where the bins can be used to recycle plastic, paper, and glass products.


Work with Other Companies

Recycling companies have some great ideas on implementing recycling in the workplace. They are often willing to work with other companies to increase recycling efforts, and they often charge a minimal fee if the waste has already been sorted. Reach out to the companies in your community and see how your recycling efforts can help to support other companies in the community.


Make It Simple

Remember to make your recycling projects as simple as possible for the staff involved. Pay special attention to your audit and make sure you have bins that make recycling easy. Choose bins with lids for the canteen area, for example. Choose containers that are big enough to accommodate sufficient waste, without adding to the workload of your employees.