Office workers average 10,000 sheets of copied paper every year, and 4,500 of those end up in the trash can. What’s more, companies in the United States spend over $120 billion yearly on printed materials, only to have those materials become outdated in three months or less. How can you reduce these costs and encourage your employees to recycle? Try these simple and nifty incentives to start a successful recycling program in your company.
Use Recycling Bins and Lots of Them
It’s likely you have trash cans stashed within easy reach, so why not replace a few with recycling bins? Choose places that make sense, such as next to the copy center and near printers for paper recycling. You can even take it a step further and encourage participation by sponsoring a recycling bin contest. Provide desk-side receptacles and reward the employee with the best decorated bin, or have teams of employees choose old office furniture to up-cycle into a recycling bin. You can also encourage composting bins and reuse centers. The most creative team wins, and so does your business.
Make Recycling a Sport
In some settings, competition is key. Treat paper recycling as any interoffice sporting event, and encourage healthy rivalry. Award points for timely milestones such as:
- Most paper saved by printing on both sides
- Least amount of paper used each month
- Most recycled corrugated boxes
- First team to go paperless
- Most recycled paper product purchases
- Most creative reuse ideas
Make the awards relevant to your employees. Choose prizes such as a paid afternoon off, a free lunch or gift cards.
Give Sustainability Credit Where Credit Is Due
Some people play, and others keep score. Plan different recycling programs and roles to fit personality diversity. Just like supervisors, team members and CEOs have various objectives, so create a method for everyone to participate. Ask for volunteers to oversee portions of the program, come up with new ideas, record the results and plan pickup or transfer to the recycling destination. Consider giving credit to participating members by holding a recycling awards ceremony to recognize recycling coordinators, reuse royalty and composting coalitions.
Whether you start with a single corrugated box to fill with recyclable paper or place a recycling bin in every cubicle, your efforts to save paper will save your company time and money. Engage employees to join in the fun by creating a competitive and fun environment to test their skills at winning the recycling game for your company.
About Pratt Industries Recycling
Our rapidly-expanding recycling division has recycling and recovery facilities in nine states – and our operational footprint stretches from New York to California. Our mission is to maximize landfill diversion for businesses and communities. Learn more about how to maximize waste stream diversion for your business!