How to Set Up a Business Recycling Program
Implementing a recycling program at your business is easy! Just follow these steps:
- Establish your recycling potential
- Find out how much trash is being collected at your business. How many dumpsters of what size do you have? How often do they get collected?
- Identify recyclables found in the trash to determine what materials should be recycled.
- Estimate the waste disposal cost savings when your business starts to recycle.
- Evaluate building/office space options for recycling containers.
- Develop an environmental policy for your business that gives employees a clear direction of your company's environmental commitment.
For free technical assistance, please call the Environmental Services Department at 858-694-7000.
- Design a user-friendly recycling program
- Choose a waste hauler based on their responsiveness. Start with the business' current hauler or if your contract is expiring and/or your current hauler can't provide you with recycling services, consider a local recycler (PDF) or a different franchise hauler (PDF).
- Select recycling bins and place them in areas that will minimize misuse or contamination. Always place recycling containers as close as possible to trash containers.
- Employees can empty desk-side bins into larger bins in common areas. Or your custodial service can empty desk-side bins.
- To assist in your search for containers, here is a small list or vendors (PDF) of indoor and outdoor recycling containers.
- Clearly identify recycling areas with large signs that include pictures of what can and can't be recycled.
- Place information on company's bulletin boards and in newsletters. Make sure each area of the office/building has a list of acceptable recyclable materials and descriptions of recycling bin locations.
- Coordinate with other nearby businesses. The more recyclables you have, the lower your collection costs will be.
- Develop a collection plan. Who will move recyclables from the building to the dumpster? How many recycling dumpsters will you need? Can you replace some of your trash dumpsters with recycling dumpsters?
- Educate staff and promote the program
- Evaluate the program often. Check for contamination to determine if more education is needed.
- Provide updates on the program in company newsletters and bulletin boards, so employees will know that their efforts are making a difference.
- Submit a press release about your program to local media.
- Apply for recognition for your company's recycling efforts through the Environmental Services Department's Annual Business Recycling Award.
Remember, the more materials you recycle, the lower your trash collection costs.