But since people spend more time at work than at home, should we all be making a resolution to recycle more in the workplace?
Anna Cawley, director of customer services at Cawleys Waste management, explains.
The importance of workplace recycling
The typical office environment creates significant amounts of waste paper, cardboard and other materials. By working with waste management companies, workplaces can reduce their carbon footprint and protect natural resources through recycling, which can also help draw in new customers and clients who are environmentally conscious.
However, to create a successful recycling programme in the workplace, staff have to motivated to join in. Here are some ideas of how to do just that…
Top tips for your workplace
1. Start at the top Seeing senior staff members and management start to recycle will encourage employees follow. Endorsement of good recycling practice from those at the top of the business sends a positive message to the rest of the workplace.
2. Make it as simple as possible
Cawleys’ Infinity programme
makes workplace recycling as simple as possible for employees. By providing specifically labelled bins for different waste products, such as paper or drinks bottles, employees are clearly shown where to deposit their waste.
By segregating waste into separate containers, it also keeps the waste cleaner and dryer, making it easier to recycle.
3. Educate and understand A key aspect of recycling is actually understanding what can and cannot be recycled. There’s lots of confusion about plastics and other materials, which can lead people to throwing stuff away without thinking about where it’s going.
It’s essential employees are aware of what is recyclable in their office and if you have multiple bins for different materials, that they know which is which.
That’s why, as part of Cawleys’ Small Action Big Impact Campaign, educational materials are brought into the workplace to educate staff about the benefits of waste management and where workplace waste goes.
Anyone can join the SABI campaign, a 12-month initiative encouraging people across the south east to make one environmentally changing pledge a month, for example, to use a reusable coffee cup or to recycle all office paper.
4. Reminders People can often forget about recycling – with the hustle and bustle of work, it can be the last thing on their minds. Putting up posters about your workplace scheme reminds staff to recycle and actively think about where their waste is going.
5. Encouragement Initiatives such as Cawleys’ SABI campaign encourage staff to recycle. By making staff feel part of a wider cause, outside of the office, that’s making a difference to the environment, it can improve their individual recycling proficiency.
Campaigns like SABI also encourage staff to join in through monthly prize draws; winning products such as reusable water bottles from Chilly’s.