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Green Businesses

By reducing waste and recycling, you are helping to save energy, reduce water pollution, reduce water consumption, preserve natural resources and create jobs. Greening your businesses can also lead to increased efficiency, reduced cost and brand enhancement.

Businesses produce nearly 75 percent of all landfill waste. By recycling and reducing waste, your business can save energy, reduce water pollution, reduce water consumption, preserve natural resources and create jobs.

To know more about business composting and waste prevention, click here.

Setting up Workplace Recycling

  1. Form a green team

    A group of employees interested in recycling and waste prevention that sets up and monitors collection systems to ensure ongoing success.
  2. Determine materials to recycle

    Perform a waste audit (inventory the kinds of materials in your garbage). Commonly recycled items include office paper, newspaper, cardboard, metal cans, plastic containers and glass bottles.
  3. Contact your business or property manager

    Find out if recycling services are already in place. If not, ask the manager to set up recycling service. Remind them that recycling can reduce waste disposal costs. If service is in place, discuss how to increase visibility and participation.
  4. Contact Waste Management

    To set up recycling collection service go to: or call 1 800 592-9995.
  5. Coordinate collections with janitorial crew and/or staff

    • Work station recycling containers - You can provide durable recycling containers or use containers like copy paper boxes that are already available to make recycling available at each work station. Waste Management provides recycling guideline labels to identify containers.
    • Central area containers - Decide type and size of containers for common areas like conference rooms, hallways and reception areas. Locate large recycling containers next to paper-generating machines and in break rooms. Be sure to put a garbage container next to each recycling container and clearly label to avoid contamination in your recycling.
    • Collection Schedule - Create a regular schedule and determine who will pick up recycling from the containers. It may be staff, janitorial crew or a combination.
    • Communicate collection logistics to your entire staff and janitorial crew.
  6. Educate and motivate staff

    • Distribute recycling guidelines to all employees and janitorial staff and post updates on bulletin boards and/or your intranet site.
    • Post guidelines near every recycling container for easy reference.
    • Plan an attention-getting kick-off or "rejuvenate" event.
    • Send a memo from management encouraging participation.
    • Distribute guidelines and containers.
    • Set aside time for questions and answers.
    • Schedule orientation sessions for individual departments.
  7. Maintain and expand your recycling efforts

    • Have your green team meet regularly to evaluate your recycling program's progress. Address other green issues such as waste prevention, energy consumption and alternative transportation.
    • Encourage and remind staff with periodic recycling tips and updates.
    • Train new employees about the recycling program.
    • Identify a recycling point person to handle tasks such as answering staff questions, managing the green team and program oversight.
    • Include your recycling efforts in company promotional pieces.