Looking beyond recycling containers to create a comprehensive collection strategy
Collection refers to much more than just your recycling containers. Looking at all aspects of how your recyclables are collected from the individuals in your organization to your waste and recycling hauler will give you a better picture of your program's success.
An internal review of your recycling collection process should include the following considerations:
Improving efficiencies in your waste hauler contracts
Work with your current waste and recycling hauler to audit and optimize your current contract and discover potential savings that can be used to improve your program. For example, if containers are being picked up multiple times each week but are only half full, you may be able to reduce pick-up times. Similarly, you may be able to get rebates on your recyclables.
Reducing waste to reduce collection requirements
Evaluate the products that are coming into your facility. Can you reduce? Can you substitute one product for a more sustainable option? A simple example is coffee stir sticks. Generally these are used and added to the trash. Promote the use of spoons or switch to wood sticks that can be composted.
Working with the realities of your recycling program and choosing future-ready recycling containers for efficient and successful collection
What are your constraints when it comes to planning and managing your recycling programs? Time? Labour? Budget? Be realistic and ensure that your program acknowledges these challenges and finds ways of addressing them.
Selecting the proper container to meet both your current and future needs helps to manage both changes to your program and your future costs. A walkthrough of your facility is an excellent place to start. It will help you determine style, type, size, and quantity of containers required. Ensure the walkthrough starts at the front (reception, offices, boardrooms, washrooms, etc.) and continues right through to the back (parking lot, dumpster).
In order to protect your initial investment in your recycling program, a future-ready container that has the ability to right-size stream capacity is a great option. Recycling is constantly changing and the number of streams for collection changes with it. A container that is able to adjust not only the capacity of the streams but also the opening plates will address any future changes in recycling.
When selecting your recycling containers, consider all aspects to make sure you cover all of your requirements. What colour should your recycling containers be? What graphics should be on the containers' labels for effective communication? Do the containers need to be esthetically pleasing and fit into your environment, or just practical? In what areas will they be placed?