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5 Practical Ways to Encourage Recycling in Workplace



5 Practical Ways to Encourage Recycling in Workplace

Recycling is an excellent way of reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfills, saving energy and most importantly, reducing our carbon emissions. We all need to begin taking small steps in regard to recycling to protect the environment around us.

Still, the question remains, why do some employees not participate in the recycling programs at their workplace? What would be the possible reasons?

Not having extra time?

The process feels tedious?

Being too careless?

Excuses like these are no longer eligible to justify the harm caused to our surroundings. There is an urgent need for workplaces to practice the standard recycling methods and inspire the staff to follow them.

In this article, we’ll discuss some effective ways to encourage recycling in the workplace. Hope you’ll find the piece useful.

1. Go paperless

Although it may not be realistic for any organization to go completely paperless, there are several practical steps that can be implemented to reduce the amount of paper-related waste you produce.

Workers can be encouraged to edit and store every document on their computer. And recycled papers can be used for printing purposes. For instance, unless it is an official document, always print on both sides of the paper.

Announcements, reminders, notifications, daily-schedule, etc. of the company can be sent and received via email. An online platform could also be used for the above tasks as well, depends on your preference.

2. Educate employees

If you’re a business owner or working in the top position, it’s your responsibility to emphasize on the importance of recycling in the workplace and helping employees understand how their waste affects the environment. Most people already have a good understanding of recycling, theoretically. You have to give an extra nudge to your staff members to lead them to recycle in real-life.

Meetings and roundtable discussions can be held to discuss the necessity of recycling in the present-day world. Leaflets can be given containing valuable information regarding the viable materials which can be recycled.

Here are a few items generally found in the office that can be recycled:

  • Glass & plastic bottles
  • Drink Cans
  • Waste paper, magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • Printer toner cartridges
  • Cardboard boxes

3. Colour codes

If the resources are available, colour coding your bins is an excellent method for creating psychological associations that affect behavior change in your workplace.

Suppose you can designate one colour for all your general waste bins and another for recycling bins. For example, the general waste bins could be all brown while the recycling bins are green. If you have multiple recycling bins for different types of materials, use different colours to label each commodity type. The particular colour chosen is irrelevant as long as that colour is used consistently throughout your workplace.

The use of these colours will help employees to distinguish between different categories of recyclable materials or waste quickly.

4. Create a recycle-friendly atmosphere

One of the crucial requirements in creating a recycle friendly atmosphere in your workplace would be to provide an adequate number of recycling bins in and outside the building. They should be installed in places where waste is produced the most.

There are other creative ways to create a recycle friendly environment; they are mentioned below:

  • Remove desk bins: Studies have shown that the recycling rate increases as much as 60% where centralized disposable facilities are available, and desk-side bins are removed.
  • Filtered water: If there is an available filtered water tap or pitcher in the workplace, employees will be encouraged to pour a glass of water rather than grabbing a plastic water bottle.
  • Competitions: Different coloured waste collection bins can be distributed to the different departments in your company. The total rubbish generated each week can be recorded and the department to produce the least amount of waste would be rewarded gift hampers. This is a fun way to raise awareness about reducing waste.
  • Provide incentives: If incentives are provided to employees for identifying issues regarding how your company can be more recycling friendly and participating actively in recycling programs, it will help them get into the spirit of recycling. Expensive gifts are not required; often, an acknowledgment of appreciation is enough.

5. Lead the Way

If your employees observe you and the other senior members making an effort to recycle, they should hopefully be inspired to do the same. Sending out a positive message to your workplace by demonstrating the act of recycling is your duty.


The smallest of personal changes will build up over time, and it will benefit our world in the future, paving a greener path for the generations to come. These are some proven ways to inspire your staff joining the recycling campaign and encouraged to contribute a little more the protecting our surroundings. However, don’t forget to make sure all those rubbish are properly received and recycled by your local skip bin provider. You can also include this in the annual reporting to show the employees how much you care about the environment of your workplace.

As an independent blogger, Chris Freeman has been helping local business owners with content strategies for a long time. Also, he actively promotes self-development, green technologies, and sustainable living on Earth. Find his recent works at Neutrino Burst blog and follow him on Twitter @chrisfree208