Every office is different and requires different recycling bins to meet their needs. Whether it’s the aesthetics of your office recycling bins, the bin openings, or the graphics, there are many solutions available to get your office recycling program just right. By customizing your recycling program to fit the unique needs of your facility, you can ensure success in reaching your sustainability and waste diversion goals.

1. Recycling Bin Size

The first step to customizing your office recycling bins is to make sure you get the right bin size based on the amount of people using the bin and the volume of waste being collected. Conducting an office waste audit will provide you with a better understanding of the amount of waste your office is producing as well as the type of waste that is being collected. When you know what items are being tossed in the trash you can properly identify the different waste streams your recycling stations should be retrofitted with, i.e paper, electronics, organics, etc. office recycling When selecting the capacity of your recycling bins it is the perfect opportunity to decide if your office should do centralized recycling or desk side recycling. At CleanRiver, we strongly recommend centralized recycling stations and our customers agree. Check out the Hennepin County Case Study.  Centralized recycling stations encourage employees to get up from their desk (a healthy benefit to any desk job) and sort their own waste. When employees become more aware of what they are throwing out, they will begin choosing the waste stream they deposit their trash into more wisely, thus reducing your stream contamination. And don’t forget the cost savings in janitorial fees when the custodial staff don’t have to go desk to desk to collect every employee’s waste and recycling anymore!! Learn more about centralized recycling. Google is just one of the many organizations that CleanRiver works with has adopted a centralized recycling program for their office with great success! [caption id="attachment_5504" align="aligncenter" width="450"]office recycling Google used graphics & door posters to build program awareness.[/caption]

2. Streams & Opening Shapes

Based on the results of your waste audits, you should be able to clearly identify the most common types of waste and materials that employees are tossing. With this information you can choose recycling stations that can collect and separate those identified streams. Your recycling station should be a one-stop collection! If you want your office recycling program to be successful, it is extremely important that you incorporate bins that keep all the waste streams together. 

When there is no recycling or compost bin directly next to the garbage people just end up tossing their waste in whatever bin is closest.

[caption id="attachment_6439" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Johnson & Johnson makes it easy for their employees and keeps their streams together. Johnson & Johnson makes it easy for their employees and keeps their streams together.[/caption] When it comes to customizing your waste streams, don’t forget your opening shapes. Depending on what you are collecting, restrictive openings are great for helping office staff make the right decision when tossing their trash. For example, most offices collect and recycle white paper (a high commodity recyclable). But to keep the paper stream clean and avoid contamination from other types of recyclables like bottles or cans, you should opt for a restrictive slot opening that would prevent materials other than paper from going in. Be Future Ready and choose recycling bins that have the ability to adapt as your recycling program changes (because trust us, it always does). If you select bins that allow you to increase or decrease the volume of streams you’ll be able to tweak the capacity of your streams and adapt as your program develops.

3. Recycling Bin Materials & Colours

Your recycling needs are as unique as the business you are in and your office recycling bins should be treated no differently. That is why it is important that you consider customizing the colours and materials of your bins to ensure they are designed to meet your specific needs and aesthetic requirements. Different areas of your office may require different bin designs. For example, in meeting rooms and hallways where customers and clients may frequent many businesses may require that the recycling bins be designed like a piece of office furniture in mind. Sleek, modern, and coordinated with the overall design and space of a room. CleanRiver built a custom Slimline unit to meet the design requests for the conference rooms for the City of Alameda and here’s what they had to say:

"I can’t tell you how much this container is getting praise around here. The Public Works Director attended an Executive Management Team meeting in that conference room at City Hall with the new unit, and he was sure to let me know that the container received several compliments. These will catch on like wildfire in that beautiful old building that needs better recycling options than just a dumpy blue pail.Thanks so much for providing us such a beautiful custom container!”

Slimline Recycling and Waste Container_Alameda_52Gallon_Brown_2   Back of house areas such as cafeterias or employee washrooms may require more basic bins but with the same durability and capacity. High quality but inexpensive bins such as the Flex E™ Bin allow you to collect up to three different waste streams with restrictive opening all in one 50 gallon container.

office recycling

It is important to note that no matter what design or materials you require, you need to keep your stream colours and openings consistent throughout the entire facility to standardize your program. Follow CleanRiver’s 3C process to increase your recycling bin success!

4. Recycling Labels & Graphics

And finally, given that it takes about 2 seconds for employees to choose where they toss their trash, you can see why customizing the visual support for your recycling program will make a huge difference. Clear, concise graphics build program awareness, and when office staff recycle correctly, stream contamination is vastly reduced. Graphics can be customized with images of actual waste such as branded food containers. They can also include sustainability messages and be swapped out with new graphics to adapt with changing needs. office recycling bins

Read the impact of Visual Graphics Case Study here.

CleanRiver has proudly partnered with Recycle Across America as we work towards promoting the standardized label solution. The standardized labels are proven to increase recycling levels 50-100% and dramatically decrease the amount of contamination (aka garbage) thrown in recycling bins; therefore, improving the financial viability of recycling. office recycling bins Recycle Across America Graphics now Available through CleanRiver. Learn more here.   For more information on how to get the right bins for your office recycling program check out our blogs 5 Pro Tips For Buying Recycling Bins and How Many Different Bins Do I Need For My Recycling Program?

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 1-888-646-4246 or email solutions@cleanriver.com.