How Do I Start A Recycling Program?
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
Do you work or live in a place that does not take part in recycling? Following the simple steps below, you can start your own recycling program and do your part for the environment!
Conduct a waste audit.
What items typically make up your trash composition? Paper? Food containers? Packaging? Generally, eyeballing the contents of your trash and making a record of these contents everyday for two weeks should suffice in giving you a general picture of your trash waste stream. Contrary to popular belief, this does not have to involve you reaching into the trash and getting your hands dirty! If you are in a larger business or would like a third party to conduct your waste audit, contact us here and schedule a waste audit with us!
Find out what is recyclable.
Check with your local recycling center, municipality and waste hauler to find out what kind of materials are accepted in your area and if they offer pickup services. You can find this information here: Earth911
Decide on what to recycle.
Once your waste audit is complete and you understand what is recyclable in your municipality, start to focus on exactly what items you would like to divert from the waste stream and recycle instead. If you are a business, please be aware that there are certain states that now mandate plastic bag and e-waste recycling.
Bottles and Cans
Textile and Clothing
Set up recycling bins for designated items.
Place your recycling bins in high-traffic areas and next to trash bins for convenience. This will allow participants to sort out and dispose of their waste properly at one convenient site.
Educate and then educate some more.
Educating participants is key in creating a successful recycling program. Education can prevent the contamination of recyclables, maximize recycling rates and ensure the smooth process of recycling. It is important to note that contamination of recyclables can cost both the recycler and you money. To decrease contamination and eliminate issues that can arise, ask participants to rinse out any food or beverage containers prior to recycling them.
Monitor the recycling.
Keep recycling bins clean and dry and make sure that bins do not become full and overflow. A clean recycling area encourages others to recycle and keep the area clean and uncluttered. One way to do this is to line your recycling bins.
Inform the staff.
Inform maintenance and custodial staff of recycling practices and where and when to dispose of recycling properly.
Share the results!
Send participants monthly updates sharing the successes of the recycling program (how many bags of paper recycled, how many bags of cans and bottles recycled, etc...) to encourage continued cooperation with the recycling program.