Did you know that it can be easier to implement office waste management programmes if you have an open-floor setup? For one, you can create a few stations with varied small recycling containers throughout the building instead of placing individual bins per cubicle.
But won’t it be more difficult to encourage staff to recycle and segregate their garbage if there are fewer receptacles available? Actually, it can be even more helpful.
1. Encourage better habits.
Studies show that an open-plan office fosters engagement, and the same can be said for open-plan waste management stations with clear office recycling signs. Instead of lazy disposal habits, staff can take on a more collaborative approach to making sure they and the company are doing their part in saving the planet.
This is because, with rubbish bins clearly visible to everyone, there is a stronger sense of accountability and participation even when it’s a just the small act of throwing your used papers in the right container. It can also be easier for others to follow and adopt better habits when they see everyone else is also doing it.
2. Save on expenses and time.
When you have fewer waste containers, this also means fewer liners. Aside from that, cleaning can be easier and faster with fewer bins to collect and empty. All of these give the company savings on manpower and expenditures.
Plus, when you use beautifully designed small recycling containers like the ones from Ecobin, there is no need to hide them in cabinetry so you don’t have to spend for that anymore as well. You get to enjoy even more savings.
3. Make it easier to recycle.
One key factor to successful open-floor waste management is using garbage bins that are colour coded and bear clear signs what each receptacle is for. They must indicate if they are for paper recycling, food waste, and so on.
In addition, make sure to place them in areas that are easily visible and accessible. This can make it easier for employees to segregate and recycle their rubbish instead of just chucking everything into a container headed for the landfill.
Feeling frustrated because some of your staff still keep on throwing recyclables in your office bin that is supposed to be for landfill waste? As tempting as it may be to install a CCTV near your bins so you can catch the ‘culprits’, try these friendlier solutions first.
1. Increase Their Awareness
Remember that despite the many green campaigns that exist today, not everyone in the whole world knows about the effects of improper waste management. Or perhaps they just need to be reminded about the impact.
Conduct an information drive for staff. You can meet each department for a few hours each week to discuss your topics. These can include what type of waste should be thrown in a particular office bin, what happens to the garbage in landfills, ways to reuse, reduce, and recycle as a business, and other environmental concerns.
It could be helpful if you also include company benefits, such as increased savings, improving corporate responsibility and image, and attracting more customers (who doesn’t love eco-friendly businesses?). This way, your team members will hopefully realise that your waste management programme is helping not just the environment, but your business as a whole as well.
2. Imbibe the 3 Rs Culture
If staff see that your office culture strongly values reusing, reducing, and recycling, they can slowly adapt and imbibe these into their work and daily activities.
Purchase ecologically responsible products, such as compostable bin liners, recycled hand towels, organic coffee, and so on. Request suppliers to minimise their packaging, and do the same for your own products.
Make it a rule to print on both sides of the paper. Provide reusable coffee mugs for your team members’ caffeine runs to the nearby café. Post colour-coded waste bins with clear labelling in designated spots. You can even give each person a desk-top bin so they are responsible for their own waste.
3. Create an Incentive Programme
Rewards can be a big thing for some employees and may be just what you need to encourage everyone to be more involved and disciplined. Have a contest between departments about who can save the most resources in a month. Place a compost caddy in your pantry and use the collected food waste for your company vegetable garden. And when it is time to harvest, have a salad and barbecue party at the office. Or give a reward to the person who provides the best waste management idea.