Best Practices

Put our experience to work with simple best practices for your recycling program

We've been working with our clients to develop and improve recycling programs for over twenty years, and we've learned about the best practices that can help keep your initiative on track. They are based on CleanRiver®'s concept of the 3C's of Recycling.

Make recycling collection easy for participants

Place recycling containers in convenient places, as people are more likely to recycle if containers are close by.

Ensure waste streams are always together - trash and recycling should always be side-by-side to ensure success. People will always take path of least resistance and will use whichever container is closer.

Remove rogue containers – when you implement new recycling containers to stream recyclables and waste, ensure that old containers are removed. These containers can jeopardize the success of a recycling program.

Communicate your recycling message clearly 

Many recycling programs suffer from lack of or poor communication planning, so make sure your messaging and collection are consistentall areas of the facility should be collecting the same streams.

Use recycling graphics that are clear, not cluttered with a lot of text and pictures.

Use color-coordinated restrictive openings and labels on recycling containers to guide users for cleaner streams. Consistent use of the same color code throughout your program will significantly increase your success rate. 

Build a culture that supports your recycling program

Promote your recycling program and educate all staff, and patrons when it is a public program.

Inform and educate your custodial staff on the recycling program to ensure their buy-in and support. Your custodial staff are the last line of defense when it comes to your recycling program and they can often identify areas where improvements can be made.