5 Steps to Better Business Recycling

Click on each step to learn more or print the full list at bottom of the page.
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Get Organized
Step 1

Bottom Line

Business waste reduction and recycling programs succeed when management and employees are organized, involved and committed to making change.

Take Action!

Employees

Get management on board by showing how a waste reduction and recycling program can save your company money, boost employee morale and save natural resources.

Management

Identify a "champion" in your organization to lead the effort, coordinate activities, and keep people informed and engaged in the process.

Learn More

Check out Rethink Recycling's case studies page for examples on how businesses have saved money through waste reduction and recycling.

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Look in
the
Bin
Step 2

Bottom Line

Recycling is tax exempt in Minnesota. Take a look in the trash bins around your office – you might just be throwing away money!

Take Action!

Employees

Take a look at the trash and recycling bins around your office and take note of the following:

  • Are they full?
  • What's in them? Are there recyclables in the trash or vice versa? How much of your garbage is food waste?
  • How often is your trash and/or recycling picked up?
  • Are recycling and trash containers clearly labeled?
Management

Review your trash and recycling service statements or talk to your service provider to evaluate:

  • How much waste is your business generating?
  • How much do your collection and disposal services cost?
  • Where is your waste going and how is it managed?

Learn More

Learn how to properly dispose of other common businesses wastes such as fluorescent lamps and electronic equipment.
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Reduce Waste
Step 3

Bottom Line

Waste reduction can lower costs in every area of your business, from break rooms to shipping.

Take Action!

Employees

A few simple changes can significantly reduce the amount of waste you create at work:

  • Use both sides of a sheet of paper when printing and copying
  • Use reusable dishware in break rooms, at your desk and at meetings
  • Use electronic documents whenever possible and print only what you need
Management

Brainstorm with staff about your day-to-day operations to help identify waste reduction opportunities. Some potential areas include:

  • Buying supplies in bulk or economy sized packaging
  • Purchasing or leasing washable, reusable cleaning cloths
  • Shipping products in returnable containers

Learn More

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Start Recycling
Step 4

Bottom Line

Recycling is easy when done right! Make sure you’re getting the most out of your company’s recycling program.

Take Action!

Employees

Make sure you're getting the most out of the recycling program where you work:

  • Verify what's being accepted with your service provider
  • Place clear and visible labels on every recycling bin
  • Place a recycling bin next to every trash can
  • Work with facility staff to make sure recycling is being collected and stored properly for pick-up.
Management

Comparison shop for a recycling service provider. Key questions to ask potential providers include:

  • What materials do you collect and how should they be sorted?
  • Do you provide collection containers (desk paper trays, bins, barrels, dumpsters, outside storage containers, etc.)?
  • What are your payment terms? Do you require a contract for service?
  • Do you provide labels or signs for recycling containers?

Learn More

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Spread the Word
Step 5

Bottom Line

Employee participation and training is critical to success - spread the news about your recycling efforts!

Take Action!

Employees

Spread the word to your fellow employees about your company’s recycling program. Be sure to include information on company goals, what’s recyclable and who to contact with questions.

Management

Coordinate training for everyone in your company that handles recyclables, from custodial staff to outside contractors. Program understanding at every level is critical to its success. Track your progress and celebrate success!

Learn More

 

 

Better business recycling is easy

Business recycling is easier than you think. Use this step-by-step guide to help you design a program that is tailored to meet the needs of your business. If your business has already established a program, look here for ideas on how to improve or expand your program. Start today! Check off the steps as you go.

Need additional resources? Check our Resources page to find the contact info for a representative from the county that your business is located in, as well as a list of helpful links! 

Join the Recycling Revolution

Take the Business Recycling Pledge

Take the pledge to start or improve recycling at your business!

Pledge Now

See who took the pledge

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