How to Motivate Better Recycling in the Workplace

Let’s be honest, recycling isn’t what you’d call spectacularly enjoyable.  Satisfying perhaps and certainly important, but not exactly exciting. Which is precisely why it can sometimes be difficult to get the rest of the workforce on board, when it comes to office recycling.

But given the fact that it needs to be done, here’s a quick rundown of just a few helpful tips to motivate better recycling in any workplace:

  1. First of all, make sure that everybody knows that they themselves play an equally important role in the big picture. Rather than simply expecting them to know what to do and how to do it, make sure they do.
  2. Be sure to carry out periodic waste audits to find out exactly what type of waste it is you should be focusing your efforts on. Once you have done so, establish goals and targets that can be measured along the way, in order to track progress and improve motivation alike.
  3. Perhaps the single most important rule when it comes to encouraging recycling in the workplace is to make it as easy as possible for every employee. The easier it is for them to separate waste and do their bit, the more likely they are to do it. By contrast, if recycling is made in any way inconvenient, it is pretty much guaranteed that most will overlook it.
  4. Implementation of new company policies can also be helpful when it comes to recycling. Or to put it another way, recycling is made a mandatory part of everyday operations, rather than something that is simply added on. This can be anything, from re-use of copy paper to a ban on disposable cups and anything else along similar lines. Sooner or later, the workforce will simply get into the habit of recycling and reusing naturally.
  5. Another way of improving motivation to recycle in the workplace is to introduce an element of healthy competition. Specifically, allocate the position of recycling supervisor to a different employee each month, giving them the task of minimising waste as much as possible. Whoever minimises waste the most by the end of the year gets some sort of prize.
  6. Regularly revisit the subject of recycling and remind every member of the workforce exactly why it is that recycling is of such importance. It is sometimes easy to forget that waste at such an extensive level has far reaching consequences.
  7. Back with the subject of rewards, consider setting up some kind of incentive system, which sees members of the workforce being rewarded accordingly by reducing and minimising waste.
  8. Last but not least, it’s important to remember that if you yourself are in charge of the workforce or are in a supervisory position of any kind, you absolutely must lead by example at all times. You cannot expect your employees to take a responsible attitude to recycling, unless you yourself do exactly that and can be seen doing so at all times.

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