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3 Steps to Convince Your Campus To Start A Recycling Program

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Are you interested in starting a campus recycling program at your school? It can be tricky to find the ammunition you need to pitch to stakeholders to make it happen. Here are the 3 steps you can take to help you get the ball rolling.

1. Start By Gathering Evidence To Present To Campus Stakeholders

The best way to convince your campus to start a recycling program is to present tangible evidence as to why your current approach to recycling is not working and specific areas for improvement. To do that, you should conduct a campus wide waste audit. This will provide a snapshot of what your campus’ current waste management situation looks like.

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Specifically, it is used to discover the volume and the type of waste that is currently being generated by your campus. This will provide you with a better understanding of what type of recycling solutions are lacking on your campus as well as a waste diversion rate that will allow you to identify certain opportunities for improvement. This information is what you’ll later use to create an impactful message for recruiting students, staff, and the management of your institution.

For more information about waste audits and how to conduct one download our Waste Audit Toolkit.

2. Build Momentum And Get Campus Members Motivated To Participate

When presenting the idea to start a campus recycling program, it’s always a good idea to get as much support as possible. Campus stakeholders will most likely be more inclined to approve a campus recycling program if they see that students and staff are interested and motivated to actually participate.

To start building momentum for your campus recycling program, you can use the information you collected from the waste audit to educate campus members on what your current waste diversion rate is and what goals you want to work towards. An example of an ideal goal is to increase your waste diversion rate from the benchmark your waste audit provided.

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Additionally, your campus can start a “Green Team” that can consist of students, staff, and management. Get the team involved with the process of starting and taking control of the campus recycling program. They can also act as stakeholders who are responsible for driving student awareness through effective messaging and campus events.

Furthermore, one of the best ways to get the entire campus engaged is to host a competition (for our American readers, check out RecycleMania)! Challenging your campus to participate and compete in a recycling program is a great way to get everyone involved and to have fun doing it!

3. Present Stakeholders With Compelling, Real Ways Your School Will Benefit From A Campus Recycling Program
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Now it’s time to prepare your pitch. In order to win over campus stakeholders, you need to make sure the benefits of starting a campus recycling program are clear. Below are three points you can use to round out your presentation and hopefully come out with a win!

Financial Impacts

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One of the best ways to convince anyone to do anything is to hit them in the wallet. And you’re in luck because having an effective campus recycling program can actually present some serious financial benefits!

a) Save On Waste Hauling Fees

Recyclable waste is actually a commodity and has value. Typically, campuses will pay a waste hauler to collect all the waste on a certain schedule depending on how much is generated. However, there are specialty waste haulers that can take your sorted recyclables for a reduced fee or by offering rebates. The value of the rebate will vary by region, market rates, and on your contamination levels. If contamination rates exceed the waste hauler’s mandate, then the whole load will go to landfill waste and you’ll be charged for the pick-up. Therefore, if you have an effective campus recycling program that keeps your contamination rates low, you can not only avoid having to pay for your waste hauler to take your recycling, but you could also make money!

Check out our blog Save Money On Waste Hauling Fees for more information.

b) Reduce Custodial Costs

Custodial costs can be reduced by implementing central recycling stations across campus that collect all streams in an area that’s easy for people to access. This reduces the number of bins that your custodial team has to service so you save on labour costs. Also, with centralized recycling bins, people are more accountable to sort their own waste therefore also helping to reduce contamination levels.

c) Reduce Material Costs

By reducing the number of bins needed through implementing a proper campus recycling program, it reduces the number of liners used which further decreases your costs.

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Social Impacts

A greater social ROI is achieved with an effective campus recycling program because green practices are becoming increasingly more important to customers, future employees, and students. Having a sustainable campus will attract higher quality recruits since employees and students are motivated to attend and work for a campus that recycles. In fact, having a green campus has become so important to future students that the annual Princeton Review now features an annual guide to “Green Colleges” to help students and parents in their selection process.

For more information on the social impacts of starting a campus recycling program, check out our blog How Recycling Impacts Your Bottom Line.

Environmental Impacts

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This is the point where you should bring up the results of your waste audit. Share your current waste diversion rate and your realistic goals for the campus moving forward. Explain how a campus recycling program would work and how it would help achieve these goals. Depending on what your current contamination rate is, it also may be helpful to reiterate the fact that most waste haulers won’t accept recycling with high contamination rates and in fact might be throwing all your recycling into landfills.

The benefits are clear. Just by implementing a campus recycling program, your school can improve its financial ROI and its social ROI, and make it easier to recruit and retain good employees and students. So stop throwing away cash with the trash and start recycling!

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~ Written by CleanRiver Summer Intern Carly Caines


For more help with your campus recycling program, check out our blogs:

Or download our campus recycling eBook!


 

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CleanRiver Recycling provides a variety of innovative, flexible and customizable recycling solutions. To determine the right solution to meet your needs, use the CleanRiver product selector.

If you have additional questions that weren’t answered in this blog post please call us at 1-866-479-4038 or email solutions@cleanriver.com.