Signage Best Practices

Containers that are well-labeled and properly placed throughout the workplace will help make your recycling program successful. Set up your containers to:

Make it convenient to dispose of waste the right way

  • Create sorting areas by placing recycling, organics, and trash containers next to one another in areas where waste is generated and there is heavy traffic. Consider these areas:

      • Workplace kitchens, cafeterias, breakrooms or restaurant eating areas

      • Areas by copy machines and/or office mailboxes

      • Conference rooms

      • Bathrooms

  • If employees do not have individual recycling bins in their workspace, then consider setting up a common recycling area for every 20 employees.
  • Starting an organics recycling program? Consider starting in the kitchen or lunchroom, then expand to other areas over time.

Make it easy to see where to put each item

  • The signs are color-coded and include common images to make it easier to recognize where to put items that are recyclable, organics (food for animals or commercial compost sites), or trash in the right container.
  • Place labels and signs on or near containers to help employees and customers sort their waste.
  • Signs placed at eye level helps to ensure that they will be seen.

Best example: place labels on the front, sides, and lid of the containers, and posters on the wall above container, an easel at eye level behind the container, or hung from the ceiling.

Front of House (cafeteria)

Back-of-House (kitchen)

Office workspace


Contact the Twin Cities metro area county where your business or workplace is located to find out what free printed signage, technical assistance, grants, or other waste reduction and recycling resources are available:

Anoka County

Solid Waste and Recycling  
Amy Ulbricht
amy.ulbricht@co.anoka.mn.us 
(763) 323-5737

Hennepin County

Solid Waste and Recycling
Andre Xiong
andre.x.xiong@hennepin.us
(612) 543-1316

Carver County

Solid Waste and Recycling 
Brad Hanzel
bhanzel@co.carver.mn.us
(952) 361-1805

Ramsey County

Solid Waste and Recycling
GetStarted@lesstrash.com
(651) 266-1199

Dakota County

Solid Waste and Recycling
Renee Burman
renee.burman@co.dakota.mn.us
(952) 891-7042 

Washington County

Solid Waste and Recycling  
GetStarted@lesstrash.com
(651) 266-1199