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Successful Recycling Guide

We know that we should recycle at home, but often we forget about the environmental impact our offices can have.

We hope to help you achieve your sustainability goals by arming you with tools to successfully implement your office recycling initiative.

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We know that we should recycle at home, but often we forget about the environmental impact our workplaces can have.

Think about it: 100 employees, 100 lunches worth of waste. With this in mind, we believe that better workplace habits really can create a better world.

Thanks to our modern philosophy of Open Plan Recycling we've proven that by giving employees a simple recycling solution that stands out, a visible difference can be made.

We hope to help you achieve your sustainability goals by arming you with tools to successfully implement an office recycling initiative.

What is the Hierarchy of Waste?

Informed by the Hierarchy of Waste, our Principles of Wasting Less are:

  1. Refuse - Saying no to what you don’t need
  2. Reduce - To use less
  3. Reuse - Buy what you can use over + over again
  4. Repurpose - Use something for another purpose
  5. Recycle - Sort your waste effectively
  6. Dispose

Simple ways to reduce waste in the workplace:

  • Print on both sides of your paper
  • Reduce paper waste by utilising electronic documents and email
  • Avoid excessive packaging when procuring items
  • Purchase recycled goods for your office
The benefits of a circular economy

Say goodbye to linear thinking.

A linear economy can be defined as when products are made, used, and then disposed of, with their materials lost to landfill. In a recycling economy, the materials from a product or its packaging can be utilised by other suppliers into other products.

A circular economy takes our principles of wasting less even further by creating a process where materials can be recycled and reused over and over again by the manufacturer, who take responsibility for the lifecycle and end-of-life of what they produce. Companies can effectively take their old products and turn them into new ones.


This idea of a circular economy is something that is at the heart of our vision and what we’re trying to achieve as we work towards a zero waste model.

A circular economy aligns with Method’s values of:

  • Accountability
  • Sustainability
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation

Thought leaders the Ellen MacArthur Foundation describe it as a process that’s “...restorative and regenerative by design, and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.”

What are the benefits of a circular economy?

[A circular economy] represents a systemic shift that builds long-term resilience, generates business and economic opportunities, and provides environmental and societal benefits

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

A circular economy means retaining the value of resources by extending their lifespans, and therefore working to ultimately eradicate waste as we know it. The benefits include a reduction in greenhouse gases and increased production of jobs.

Cradle to Cradle takes the concept of a circular economy further, believing that we can design products that not only do less bad, but products that do good. Further, that materials should maintain their integrity when they are recycled so that they can be recycled indefinitely.

Read more from our Co-founder and Steven Korner about how these principles inspire Method here, and how we used them to implement bins made from recycled content here.

The benefits of office recycling

How can we implement the Hierarchy of Waste and the idea of a circular economy into our everyday lives?

The simplest and most efficient way is through introducing a successful recycling initiative into our workplaces.

Recycling saves money

Huge savings can occur when switching from individual desk bins to centralised recycling bins. Drastically reduce cleaners fees by lessening the time spent per bin, as well as the amount of liners you’re using. Find out more.

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.

Recycling changes behaviours

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.

Promotes collective culture

Recycling bins can create a water cooler effect, starting a conversation in your workplace that helps inspire collective effort when it comes to sustainability.

Recycling protects the environment

Recycling reduces the harmful chemicals released from waste in landfill sites, and the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials.