With everyone cutting corners to save, an often overlooked way to save money is by recycling.
Especially for businesses, employees are not as conscious about throwing stuff away, unlike the way they are in their own homes.
Based on the things which are filling the landfills, it is believed about 75 per cent of trash is recyclable. In short, people tend to throw stuff rather than think of other ways to reuse.
Admit it, when you make a mistake in writing a document, after realising the mistake, do you not send it to the bin, or immediately subject the poor paper to the shredder? Sometimes, the secret lies in being more conscious.
Below are three tips to put a business' recycling plan in place.
Know your trash
Are you aware of what each of your employees throw into the trash? When things get too busy around the office, it is not uncommon to mindlessly throw stuff away.
Sure, it may be a messy job to sift through the garbage, but if you want to start a good recycling plan in your business, that's the only way to go.
It might be a good idea to implement the "three-trash-bins policy" – or putting three different trash cans, each for a specific type garbage: (i) biodegradable (stuff that spoil, like food and other organic materials); (ii) reusable/recyclable (plastic water bottles, empty computer ink cartridges, paper, etc); and (iii) non-recyclable and reusable materials (Styrofoam, plastic bags, empty foil wrappers).
It may interest a lot of people that there are some countries who still find some use for seemingly unrecyclable stuff. They export bags made from used foil snack wrappers. If they can do it, then so can you. Your trash maybe someone's treasure.
Contact your local recycler
You may ask your local recycler what products and/or materials they accept. Get a list of the items and post the list above the "3 trash bins". This is a good move that keeps all your employees conscious and aware, before they toss.
Some companies even discourage the use of individual trash cans, because when people are not given time to think, it is easy to mindlessly throw even reusable things.
Recyclers now accept a wider range of plastics, cloth, linens, and yes, even small appliances which turn out to be more expensive to repair.
Our village recycling guy has made such a huge killing at recycling – his house is now full of donated broken appliances which all work well after repair. Think of all the landfill those broken things should have occupied. He now has smooth-running devices with a little patience and perseverance. Guess who's happy now?
Make it easy for your employees to recycle
Remember, it will be virtually impossible for you to implement a business recycling program if your employees do not cooperate. Part and parcel is informing them about how to make wiser use of company property and materials.
It is also wise to hold a short seminar on recycling, for example by showing employees graphic images of how too much trash can affect the planet, the seas, and the air (think ozone layer).
Make it easy for people to be more willing and eager to do their own part in this endeavour. Make it hard for them to throw stuff away by getting rid of regular personal trash cans. Remember, every little bit of help will go a long way. So do your share, you will never regret it