How Office Building Managers Can Roll Out an Efficient & Eco-Friendly Recycling Program

Commercial Zone Blog

January 17, 2024

How Office Building Managers Can Roll Out an Efficient & Eco-Friendly Recycling Program

If you’re looking to switch from single-stream waste collection to either a dual or multi-stream recycling program, follow these four steps to do so successfully.

a black trash receptacle, blue recycling receptacle and green compost receptacle in a mult-stream set up inside an office kitchen area

Enacting a recycling program in your office building(s) is a great way to lower your environmental impact, reduce landfill-bound waste and potentially receive LEED credits. If you’re looking to switch from single stream waste collection to either a dual or multi-stream program, follow these four steps to do so successfully.

Conduct a comprehensive waste audit as a benchmark

Every office is different! To launch the most productive recycling program, it’s crucial to first understand what types of recyclable items are being placed in the trash by tenants.

This can be measured by executing a waste audit. Don’t worry, you won’t need to dumpster dive. A waste audit can be performed by an outside waste consultant or an internal team—from a building manager to your janitorial crew.

Set recycling goals that are measurable

Once the data is collected, the next step is to set clear, measurable goals. Looking to reduce landfill-bound waste by a certain percentage? Add recycling bins. Looking to reduce overall waste and recycling? Offer new ceramic mugs instead of single-use cups. Reducing litter in the parking lot? Add additional receptacles in high-traffic, litter dense areas. Remember to only change one thing at a time to properly measure the effects your new systems have on your goals.

Choose the right waste & recycling receptacles to increase compliance

Based on your waste audit, your office can decide the necessary capacity and streams. To create an even more sustainable set-up, choose multi-stream waste and recycling receptacles that can separate out trash, compost and recycling streams like paper/cardboard, glass, plastic and more. Separating out recyclable materials can nearly eliminate recycling contamination.

Another method to increase recycling compliance is with clear, easy-to-understand decals. Use words and photos/illustrations to clearly communicate each stream whether dual-stream (waste & recycling) or multi-stream (waste, plastic, paper, compost, etc.). Receptacles like our PolyTec™ Series can include decals, are ideal for indoor/outdoor applications and can be nested side-by-side for dual and multi-stream program.

Identify recycling champions to push the program forward

In every office, there is likely to be an employee (or group of employees) that is passionate about the environment. Communicate your goals with tenants and identify your “recycling champions”. These people will encourage co-workers to recycle and communicate the goals and importance of recycling on a day-by-day basis. A small budget can be given to these champions to offer surprise-and-delight prizes (mugs, reusable bags, etc.) for recycling compliance as well as rewards that can be given as milestones and goals are met.

Office buildings upgrade technology. After all, businesses aren’t still using the old fax machine, dial-up internet or tube-style monitors. It may be time to upgrade your waste management program by adding or expanding on recycling collection. Commercial Zone offers the right receptacles for Class-A office spaces, municipalities and more. Choose from dozens of ready-to-ship options, our personalized product or a custom creation. Commercial Zone receptacles are available in a variety of sizes, styles and finishes to elevate your office and impress clients.