How to sort your waste and recycling at work

Waste sorting is an effective measure that is easy to introduce and sustain in any business. With clear labelling and different receptacles, it’s not difficult for employees to dispose of waste correctly in order to do the right thing for the environment. Here are our tips on what you can do to improve waste sorting and recycling in your workplace.
Woman throwing food waste into bin

Why recycle? Save energy and natural resources

Everyone benefits from waste sorting. Not only can batteries and other hazardous waste be disposed of safely, but waste streaming provides numerous environmental benefits by saving energy and resources at the point of manufacture. For example, it is both more energy efficient and more resource efficient to create new paper from recycled material than to first incinerate old paper and cut down more trees to use as new raw material. As such, recycling helps your business reduce its environmental footprint.

Start by sorting out the most dangerous materials

A good tip is to start with the waste that causes the most damage: the environmentally- and health- hazardous waste. Some products contain substances that are toxic, explosive or flammable, and consequently harmful to both humans and the environment. Used batteries, low energy lamps, fluorescent lights, computers and other electrical waste are examples of waste that should be separated and taken to a specialist recycling centre. Place the hazardous waste in suitable containers while waiting for disposal / collection.
Red wall-mounted battery bin

TIPS! Battery bins

Battery bins are ideal for safe and convenient storage of used baterries prior to recycling. This one comes with a child-resistant lid with a key lock and is designed to be fixed to a wall or post for easy access.

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Make it easy around the workplace

The more we recycle, the better it is for the environment. So make it easy for everyone by placing recycling bins in convenient spots around the workplace. In offices, it is a good idea to have a bin for recycling paper under each desk and near any printers. In a warehouse or factory, waste collection points should be strategically located close to the places where waste materials are generated. When it comes to the number of waste containers, the more the merrier! That will increase the likelihood of each item ending up in the right place.
Set of 3 black recycling bins
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Woman placing her rubbish into a recycling bin in a company canteen
View our comprehensive FAHRENHEIT recycling series

Label waste receptacles clearly

Where you expect several different types of waste to be produced, make sure your system is simple to understand. Use clear labels and/or different coloured containers so that it is quick and easy to put rubbish in the right place. This is particularly important in the kitchen and canteen: separating plastic, glass and metal packaging from other waste is simple and has a big impact. Have separate receptacles for food waste (which will turn into compost) and non-recyclables. A well organised system with clearly marked containers all in one place is no more difficult than just throwing rubbish in the bin and will quickly become second nature.
Large green wheelie bin in a warehouse

Use wheelie bins for large amounts of rubbish or recycling

Wheelie bins are ideal for use in warehouses and manufacturing facilities as well as "back of house" in offices, hotels, schools and more. They offer plenty of space and are very versatile, making them suitable both for any residual non-recyclable waste as well as for collecting large amounts of any other material for recycling, such as cardboard packaging or plastic waste. The bins are easy to move, empty and clean.

Put residual waste in compostable bags

Any residual, non-recyclable waste will still need to be collected as usual but over time a successful waste sorting system will see this type of waste become a smaller and smaller part of your output. In the meantime, we recommend compostable refuse sacks.
Four coloured recycling bins on a trolley

TIPS! Package deals are a great way to get started

Buying a set of recycling bins is a quick and easy way to set up your waste sorting station. This one features four different coloured bins that make it simple for people to throw their rubbish in the right bin. The bins come on a trolley to make them easy to move for a really simple and cost-efficient solution.

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Blue tipping skips used for recycling underneath pallet racking

Use tipping skips for bulky waste

When it comes to waste sorting on a larger scale (of heavier materials, construction waste, etc.), tipping skips are an excellent choice. These robust containers are designed for heavy-duty handling of up to 3000 L of waste and for use with forklift trucks. As with recycling bins, they are available in several different colours to facilitate waste separation. Add lids, castors and labels to make it easy to do the right thing, even with the heaviest and roughest waste.

Four tips to help you get started with recycling

1. Separate anything hazardous – Separate batteries, light bulbs, electrical waste, etc. from the rest of the rubbish.

2. Communicate clearly – Use recycling labels and receptacles in different colours to show users what rubbish should go where.

3. Keep all the waste streams in one place – If you have space, choose a recycling set that includes several waste receptacles or openings. Having everything in one place means it will be just as easy for people to recycle as it used to be for them to throw all their rubbish into one bin. Remember, easy is key!

4. Have one than one recycling station – Make sure that employees always have a recycling station nearby so that there’s no excuse. You should position bins close to workstations as well as in the kitchen, breakroom, changing area and any other places staff congregate.

Need any help? Contact us.

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