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Feb—08

How to Engage Employees with Recycling at Work

How to Engage Employees with Recycling at Work

Engaging staff with recycling can seem difficult, so we have compiled some fun ideas to engage people in your workplace.

Below are a few ideas to engage your staff, but there is no right or wrong way to approach this. Try and include the following in any ideas of your own you want to try in your workplace;

  • Conversation starters - make talking about recycling as normal as asking your coworker what they did on the weekend
  • Engaging activities - more than just emails and posters, make everyone physically engage with their waste behaviours
  • Education - many people want to do the right thing, but often a lack of knowledge is the barrier

Create a Green Team

Establish a Green Team for your building or business, a group of people who are passionate and motivated to see a visible change. This group should create coordinated communications for the building including emails, posters and community notice boards, informing users of new Green Initiatives, events and educating. Also acting as a point of contact for any questions they may have such as ‘what bin does this go into?’

They can also provide feedback for users, updating everyone on improvements or areas of concern. While simultaneously asking for feedback from users - are bins placed in a convenient place, are they getting emptied enough, is there any waste they produce that doesn’t have a stream?

Hold a Competition

Everyone loves a competition, so if you are monitoring your waste levels this is a great way to motivate teams to reduce their waste. Separate by floor or team and reward the group that reduces their waste to landfill the most. The winners could get a free Zero Waste Kit or a bonus to go towards a team lunch. Whatever the reward alongside bragging rights, it opens up conversations about recycling in the workplace and actively engages staff in their waste behaviours.

Find out how to monitor your waste with our In House Waste Audit Resource.

Waste Free Wednesdays

Try holding a weekly, monthly or annual zero-waste lunch day event, encourage all staff to bring their lunch in reusable containers, ditch the single-use coffee cups, or taking a reusable container to their favourite sushi spot.

This is just a reminder for people to consider the behaviours they engage in every day. One staff member moving to reusable containers can represent a significant saving in packaging over the course of a year.

Repurpose Rebates

In some territories, there are rebates for certain recyclables, these funds can be repurposed in a number of ways to engage your staff in their waste habits.

  1. Pass them back to the teams as a perk for a team event
  2. Produce branded reusable products that can be passed out to employees and customers such as coffee cups, drink bottles or even beeswax wrappers
  3. Donate them to a local sustainability charity, but make sure employees know this is thanks to their recycling efforts

Participate in a Clean Up Event

Do some good for the local environment, your staff and your corporate social responsibility and participate in a beach or park clean up event. Get out the branded tees, sun hats and gloves and work with your local community to clean up your backyard. This will raise awareness and engage staff while getting them out from behind their desks for a couple of hours.

Educational Event

Sneak some recycling education into your weekly meeting or hold a dedicated educational event, with knowledge comes power. This can remove confusion as a barrier and help those who want to do the right thing.

Methods own Zero Waste Josephine + Australian Business Development Manager Sebastian recently did held an activation at One Farrer Place for Australian recycling week. Talking to residents about recycling and holding a lunch and learn, finding that most people have similar questions. If you knew the most common questions, you are able to communicate more effectively in emails or posters.