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Business Programs

It only takes seven simple steps to start a recycling program at your business:

Step 1: Recruit a Team

To ensure your recycling program is a success, get the support of your management and consider how a recycling program will benefit your business. The team will be responsible for: setting goals, gathering information, promoting the program to other employees, monitoring and reporting to program results to management.

Step 2: Conduct a Waste Audit

A waste Audit will help you understand the amounts and the types of waste generated by your organization. By walking through each area of your facility you will recognize where and how waste is generated and the amount of recyclable materials currently in your waste stream. This assessment also provides a baseline to measure the progress of your recycling program.

Please note that our staff will be happy to help you conduct a walk through waste audit of your business waste practices.

Step 3: Define Targets for Recycling

Commonly targeted materials for recycling include: cardboard, paper, cans, and bottles but don’t overlook office equipment, pallets and packing materials.

Use the waste audit results to help you evaluate your most economical and feasible options. Try to eliminate waste at the source when possible. Identify recycling markets and opportunities and consider purchasing items with less packaging and greater recycled content.

Step 4: Create Recycling Program

Decide what kind of collection containers to use and the most effective location. Containers can be a simple as re-using a cardboard box to purchasing specially labeled containers. Containers should be easily accessible and placed where waste is most generated. A good idea is to place a recycling bin right next to the garbage container. Just make sure your recycling bin is clearly labeled.

Your recycling team should decide who will be responsible for taking the smaller containers to a central location for pickup and on what schedule.

Step 5: Educate Employees

To implement a successful recycling program, all employees should be well informed. Send emails and provide directions on what materials should be placed in the recycling bins and any required preparation. Don’t forget, every employee should receive training on your new recycling program.

Consider providing incentives and rewards to encourage participation. And remember, education should never stops.

Step 6: Monitor the Program

Monitor the program for materials going into the bins. Contaminants such as food or Styrofoam and plastic packing in the paper can turn an entire load of recycling into worthless waste.

Create incentives to recycle, contests, newsletters to help maintain enthusiasm and active participation.  Send out occasional reminders about the program and let your employees know the results of their efforts.

Step 7: Close the Loop / Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Buy Recycled

Continue to promote waste prevention, re-use and the purchase of recycled content materials and packaging.   Promote Waste Prevention, Re-Use and Buying Recycled content supplies, and don’t forget we can help you with each step.

For more information on business recycling, visit the EPA Waste Wise Program for businesses.

The WasteWise program is an EPA partnership with businesses, local governments and non-profit organizations.  WasteWise promotes the prevention and recycling of municipal solid waste and select industrial materials. Municipal solid waste includes materials that could end up in an organization’s (or its customers’) trash.

WasteWise offers technical assistance, an Annual Climate Profile, networking opportunities, outreach/educational materials, Waste Wise Awards for outstanding achievements and public recognition in Waste Wise publications and case studies.  Waste Wise was launched in 1994, currently has more than 2700 members.
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