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Business / Commercial

Best Practices


Make recycling easy.

Locate recycling bins wherever there is a trash can to make it easy for employees, tenants, and customers to make the right decision and recycle. Make sure recycling bins are located at all workstations so that staff doesn’t need to go out of their way to recycle.

Ongoing Education and Management.

Make sure staff and/or tenants know what to recycle, where to recycle, and how to recycle. It’s best to do this in-person with visuals of actual recycling and trash items. Some haulers will even send a representative to your building to assist with on-site training sessions and recycling promotions.

And remember, everyone could use a little friendly reminder from time to time. Hold periodic “refresher” meetings so that people continue to recycle properly.

For new tenants and residents, it’s best to address recycling as early as possible. This sometimes means at the time of move-in, before move-in, or even at the architectural stage for building retrofits.

Develop a non-confrontational system for compliance, especially in multi-tenant buildings. Consider simply not collecting trash and recyclables from a station if they’re mixed together. Log the occurrence, and have staff leave a friendly reminder and information of what is recyclable.

Use signs.

A picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to recycling. Make sure signage with visuals of acceptable materials appear wherever there are trash and recycling containers. If someone has to guess where an item should go, it’s probably going to end up in the trash, so help them put that soda can in the right place by showing them where it should go.

The City offers downloadable flyers, posters, and recycling bin labels on its website, click here

Identify recycling champions.

Management can’t be everywhere at all times, so identify a recycling champion or several champions who can answer questions and make sure recycling is happening properly throughout your organization. These champions can also help identify problems with your current recycling system and find ways to improve your program. Ultimately, recycling is everyone’s job, but it’s helpful to have designated leaders who are accountable for making sure it happens properly.

Know your garbage bill.

Many businesses end up with waste collection services that don’t fit their needs, or worse – overpay for these services. Take time to go over your bill and ask your hauler questions about things you don’t understand. Especially if you start recycling more materials, you may be able to decrease the frequency of your trash pick-ups. Talk to you hauler about different options that might be available (and how it will impact your cost) if you increase how much you recycle.

Communicate constantly.

Constant communication between management and haulers, housekeepers, staff, tenants, and customers helps ensure that your recycling program will continue to run smoothly and cost-effectively. Let staff and tenants know when they’re doing a good job (or when something could be improved), and solicit feedback from your hauler about the quality of the recyclable materials you’re providing them. Problems with the latter can signal that changes need to be made to your recycling process.