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4 Reasons Your Office Should Recycle

Understanding the Benefits for Your Business

We know that we should recycle at home, but often we forget about the environmental impact our offices can have. Employees spend a third of their day in the office, producing waste from at least one (if not more) meals, along with snacks and other general waste. It’s imperative that we help divert as much of this from landfill by giving employees a visible, simple system to help them recycle.

Recycling may not be the most exciting topic, nor is it the best solution to sustainability, but it is a great first step and an important one to get started. Here are four reasons why your office should recycle.

1. Recycling Saves Money

The biggest benefit for businesses that recycle is the cost savings that can occur. This happens in a number of ways including:

  • Fewer individual desk bins means less time that cleaners have to spend going from desk to desk, which can cut down on cleaner fees.
  • Many places have imposed waste levies that only continue to increase. By lessening the amount you send to landfill, you can save money on the levies.
  • For places that offer container deposit schemes, recycling specific containers can earn you some money back – usually around ten cents a bottle or can. It isn’t a lot, but can go to funding additional sustainability initiatives or employee appreciation initiatives.

Recycling won’t have any huge impact on your revenue and expenses, but especially for businesses with small margins, every cent matters.

2. Recycling Improves Your Corporate Social Responsibility

Starting a recycling initiative improves your corporate social responsibility and your company’s image. As more and more consumers are realising the necessity of environmental responsibility, they are shifting their allegiances to more conscious brands that encompass these moral values.

Many big companies recognise the importance of corporate social responsibility and have even implemented zero waste initiatives to divert most of their waste from landfills. Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Unilever are stepping up to the challenge with Zero Waste pledges. But they’re not the only ones taking action.

Small businesses are often the leading change makers when it comes to sustainable action. There are now over 5000 B Corps around the world and that number is only growing. These are the companies that are implementing solutions for a better world through better working conditions, equitable solutions, and strong environmental considerations. While there are many aspects to getting B Corp certified, waste reduction and diversion is one aspect to showing that your business is a business force for good.

3. Recycling Promotes a Sustainable Work Culture

Recycling can be a great first step in working towards a more sustainable workplace. Just as consumers are more cognizant of company sustainability policies, current and potential employees are also looking to work for businesses that align with their values.

Sustainability in the workplace can have an overall positive impact on employee recruiting and retention, and recycling is an easy first step to get started. While we always advocate for a multi-faceted sustainability in any office environment, recycling is easy to implement and most people are already familiar with the concept, even if they are mis-recycling or wish cycling.

By incorporating recycling into your workplace, you are spearheading a campaign to change your colleagues into changemakers. Reinforcing positive behaviours will hopefully then be translated into their home lives, too.

4. Recycling is Good for the Environment

Recycling isn’t a perfect solution to the waste woes of the world, but it is often the most accessible alternative we have to landfills. While reducing waste in the first place is always the best move, recycling materials you do end up with is the next best thing.

For one, it greatly reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. Waste in landfills leach chemicals in the soil and groundwater, contribute to your carbon footprint, and destroy natural areas where animals, plants, and even humans could otherwise live.

For another, recycling takes less overall energy than extracting, refining, and processing raw materials. This helps prevent further unnecessary emissions from the process and the destruction of lands for these materials.

Glass and metals, in particular, are infinitely recyclable. Plastic recycling is a bit more complicated, but can still be a great way to prevent unnecessary waste from ending up in a landfill.

Implementing a Recycling Program

Recycling has a lot of unseen benefits that can help your bottom line, support better employee retention, and improve your organisation’s image. If you don’t already have a recycling program in place or it’s not as robust as you’d like, we’ve got the resources to help.

  • For employee education, check out our Recycling 101 series here.
  • For simple office swaps to produce less waste, check out our article here.
  • For a robust guide, you can find our Successful Recycling Guide here.

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