Organics Recycling in Your Office – Set it Up for Success

With the Ontario organics ban set to come into affect in 2022 (if you don’t know about this yet, please refer to our previous blog posts), its time to start getting employees and co-workers on board with organics recycling practices.

Being in the organics business ourselves, we have heard all kinds of excuses as to why businesses choose not to have an organics-recycling program – “its too smelly,” “it’s a pest attraction,” or “it is too hard” are among the most common.  With organics recycling becoming mandatory in the next few years, it is imperative that businesses get on board with organics recycling in the work place sooner rather then later. Not only because the ban will make it mandatory, but because at the end of the day, it is also the right thing to do for the environment.

We have come across many customers who have excellent intentions of starting the program, but shortly after launching it, fail because they can’t get coworkers/employees to participate because of the reasons listed above.  Depending on how important this initiative is to you or your company, there are several different ways to implement successfully.

Before Launching an Organics Recycling Program

When launching the program initially, the initial success of the organics recycling program relies on a few measures that need to be in place beforehand. Firstly, you need to decide whose responsibility it will be to ensure the organics bins go outside for collection & the bin brought back in once emptied. Depending on the size of your company, you could have maintenance workers in place already that take out the garbage as required, so adding this to their list of tasks would be simple. For smaller sized companies where regular employees are in charge of taking out the garbage on a rotation or on a volunteer basis, this might be a bit more difficult. Our suggestion is to either establish a rotating schedule or find the environmental leader in your employee group – hopefully they are willing to take on the task. If this fails, perhaps offer an incentive the employee that offers to take it out/in.

Secondly, you will want to do some preliminary training to ensure everyone is on board with the program. If you are signing up for our program here at Davidson Environmental, we are happy to provide you with guidelines, posters and education to help get your employees trained. This will give you an opportunity to explain what the program is, when it is coming to the office space and your expectations.

To start the program, you’ll want to make sure you have enough bins in the correct areas to ensure a high diversion rate. Depending on the size of your office, you’ll need to decide the size of bin you’ll require (32 gallon or 64 gallon) & how many you’ll need. The best part about that is that our team at Davidson Environmental can help you with that part based on other customer outputs & on office size. We also offer smaller, counter top organics bins, which take up less room for less active areas. We can design an organics program that works for you. Making sure you have enough bins, in enough places in the office, is key to making the program as successful as possible.

Launching an Organics Recycling Program

Once you have decided on the organics bin locations & number required, its time to put up the posters. Its imperative that you hang the ‘what goes in this bin’ poster directly above the organics bin to help to guide people (who might not know otherwise) what is accepted in the program. We know that a lot of programs aren’t successful because people miss this small step.

It might even be helpful to establish a ‘green team’ in the early stages of the program (depending on the size of your company), to help guide people who aren’t as committed to the program as others. For instance, you could consider having someone from the team at each organics bin during lunch hour to help discern what goes in the bin & help people better understand the program.

Long Term Success of the Organics Program

A good way to keep employees motivated in organics recycling is to provide bi-annual metrics (we are able to pull reports for you) of your current diversion rates. You could even consider making it a ‘game’ of sorts. For instance – “if so many kilograms of organics is diverted in the next 6 month period, everyone gets a pizza lunch.” Something to keep your employees interested & motivated in participating is your key to a successful organics-recycling program. 

As organics recycling becomes more and more common in the household, it will become second nature in the office. Until then, training, meetings and posters will help to guide employees to participate in organics recycling. Some of these steps might seem time consuming, difficult or costly, but they are necessary (and will be mandatory in 2022) to ensure a successful organics program.

Do you have any questions? Please reach out to us to get your office on board!