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7 Recycling Tips for Manufacturing Facilities

By: Grant King – IndustrySearch Writer
04 February, 2015

Recycling might seem like a great way for your entire workforce to dither about depositing bits of glass, plastic, paper and metal in bins instead of actually working, but it's simply not like that.

Recycling offers some serious financial paybacks, and not just for the products you throw in recycle bins. Many of the things you currently discard can be reconstituted back into your manufacturing processes.

The latter is for another article. Here we will focus on how you can create a greener work ethic for staff and management alike.

Select your star recyclables

What glass, plastic, paper and metal products are you currently discarding that could be recycled? Compile a list for positive action.

Build a bin map

Where are the bulk of your recyclables being produced? On the factory floor? In the office or kitchen? Map this out for each recyclable with the number of bins required per location. If it's big quantities, get a big bin. If it's lots of smaller quantities across a multitude of locations, get lots of smaller bins.

Colour code your bins

Choose a different coloured bin for each of your recyclables and label them so there is no chance of confusion. If possible attach a label with big bold letters that can withstand a bit of wear and tear. Pieces of paper with two strips of sticky tape have a habit of quickly falling apart and falling off.

Place your bins with pinpoint accuracy

Remember, someone is going to have to walk all your recyclables from source to bin. So place each and every bin as close to the action as possible, wherever that may be depending on its contents.

Recycle your staff's attitude

This might take time and persistence. After all, you're dealing with people who have been throwing everything out until now. So call a meeting or send a memorandum. Make it important. Tell them why you're doing this, how much it will save and how much it will benefit the company (and them) in the long run. Post the reasons why on all bins to reinforce the message.

Give it a month

Tweak, and then give it another month. If you're operating a small plant, your recycling plan will fall into place very quickly, but it's still an exercise in time management. Whether you have six employees or six hundred, every minute they spend adhering to your recycling policy has to be assessed against the disruption to their productivity and your financial gains from the entire recycling program.

Put it in print

Once your recycling plan is up and running, create a manual. This will be the blueprint for your ongoing recycling program for existing staff reinforcement and new staff induction. Keep this manual short and sweet, but make sure it contains all the before-and-after facts of your recycling success, why every employee – new and old – needs to buy into its ongoing success, what they need to recycle, how and where.

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