Office Recycling Scheme – Top Tips

Setting up an office recycling scheme is something that all businesses can do to help the environment, and in many cases save money.  Regardless of how many people work in your office, there are always steps that can be taken to recycle some of your waste.  This article provides five useful tips to follow when setting up any recycling scheme.

Implement in Stages

When setting up an office recycling scheme it is often a good idea to implement the recycling scheme in stages, rather than trying to recycle everything at once.  In most offices the recyclable material that makes up the largest percentage of waste is likely to be paper.  On average paper waste makes up around 40% of the waste from a standard office.  It is therefore a good idea to start your recycling scheme by recycling paper.  Once this has been in operation for a few weeks, other waste streams can then be introduced.

Keep it Simple

From experience laziness is often one of the main problems with any type of recycling scheme.  In a busy office environment some people will simply use the nearest bin to dispose of their waste, rather than walk to the opposite side of the office to dispose of a few pieces of  waste paper in a recycling bin.  Making recycling an easy option by placing recycling bins in convenient places is therefore a good way of eliminating this excuse.  Recycling bins should be placed next to printers, photocopiers and other areas which are likely to generate a lot of paper waste.  Desk top recycling trays can also be used in larger offices to collect the paper waste for recycling.  These can then be emptied into the larger recycling bins at the end of each day.


In order for an office recycling scheme to be successful it is important to make sure that everyone is aware of the recycling scheme and what is expected of them.  There are a number of different ways that this can be done, depending on the size of the office.  Firstly the recycling scheme can be introduced during an office meeting, or through the use of a memo or email (preferably an email as this eliminates unnecessary waste).  Posters in prominent places such as staff notice boards, near photocopiers, next to bins, etc. is also a good idea as this will provide a constant visual reminder of the recycling scheme.


It is important that the recycling scheme is monitored on a regular basis to ensure that it is working properly.  Introducing the recycling scheme in stages will help the monitoring process.  Depending on the size of the office it is often beneficial to make somebody, or even a group of people, responsible for the recycling scheme.


Recycling can be a very rewarding process for the environment, the business and the people that contribute to the recycling scheme.  It is therefore important to keep people up-to-date with the progress that is being made.  This can be done by either sending a monthly email or placing a poster on the staff notice board detailing the amount of materials that have been recycled.  Your waste management and recycling company may be able to help you with this by providing you with a monthly tonnage report.