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Workplace Recycling Education and Why You Need It

recycling education at work

Is recycling education in the workplace necessary?

There are few business owners alive today who won’t readily admit the importance of recycling in the workplace. It’s the reason so many companies invest in office recycling solutions. Yet even with these programs on-the-go, recycling contamination remains high and program success is limited.

If like many businesses in North America, you find yourself wondering why these programs are not more effective – it comes down to a simple answer.

People aren’t sure how to recycle, so they regularly get it wrong.

Employees don’t have the recycling know-how to take full advantage of the programs you have put in place. Instead, they’re wish-cycling, and only getting it right some of the time.

Let’s look at some candid reasons why you should invest in improving the level of recycling education among your employees.

#1: A Lasting Green Culture

Each of your employees will spend 30% of their lives at work. The average person spends 30 or so years working, and some of those years will be at your company.

recycling team

With so much time spent at work, it’s the perfect place to pick up an essential life skill: recycling right. Once your workplace has embraced a culture of ongoing recycling education it will attract eco-aware talent to your brand. There are perks to being green!

As your employees become active environmental stewards, your company will be known far and wide as a green pioneer. This isn’t just good for retaining top talent, it’s good for business.

#2: Drastic Program Improvement

That state-of-the-art recycling program you keep up and running will finally get results. When your employees embrace the importance of recycling education, it translates into more quality materials recycled. There are some great benefits when your program actually works.

This is what you can expect:

When your employees know how to recycle, recycling procedures in the workplace will improve. More employees will feel confident enough to get involved and recycling rates will climb. Your green team will be invited to give talks about the efficiency of their incredible green practices at work.  

#3: Create Lifelong Recyclers

Recycling education programs that are memorable and actionable tend to stay with those who experience them.

Your employees will find themselves recycling more at home, and when they’re not.

It’s your job as an employer who believes in sustainability and the circular economy to inspire your employees to recycle wherever they go. Lack of education on recycling has always been the barrier to getting more people to play a lifelong role in being green.

Transforming your workforce into environmentalists is beneficial for everyone, especially because each of us needs to play a role in reducing the harmful impact of climate change.

#4: Eliminate Wishcycling From Your Business

There are two questions that business owners want answered when they start to investigate ways to improve their recycling programs and amplify workplace recycling education.

They want to know –

  • How to increase recycling participation
  • How to promote recycling in the workplace

This is because only a small amount of their workforce recycles right, even though it may appear as though everyone is engaging with the program. With few recycling education resources, employees rely on guesswork, and end up trying to recycle materials that hinder the process.

Wishcycling is common, with 1 in every 4 items that land in the recycling bin causing issues down the line. Sustainability education that promotes recycling in the workplace and how to do it correctly can quickly and easily fix this problem in your company, forever.

#5: The Collective Good

It can be challenging knowing how to implement recycling at work from one year to the next. We are living during a time of disruptive change, new innovations and uncertainty. What’s the point of teaching your employees about recycling when there is no way to guarantee real change?

Girl with recycling ideas

The good news is that some forms of modern recycling education do stick. The educational programs that we run here at Recycle Coach are customized to address the specific problems that a company is dealing with. The content is relevant, easy to understand and creates lasting positive change.

It helps employees understand their individual role in the collective good of the company, their city, and the world they live in. After one of our campaigns, your office recycling program is never the same again! Our mission is to help you transform every employee into a recycling hero.

Workplace recycling education should be one of the most important aspects of your green strategy this year. You can’t expect to achieve amazing results without it.

If you find that your employees aren’t recycling correctly, or at all – then perhaps it’s time to offer them the resources to confidently step up and be part of the solution.

What kind of recycling resources do you wish you had access to at work? Tell us below.

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