launching a recycling program at work

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One of the biggest global problems is environmental pollution because of its negative effects on the environment, particularly on global warming. Offices contribute significantly to the nation's waste paper, therefore developing techniques for recycling it will have a significant influence on both the environment and the business. A recycling program should be established since it will reduce trash and benefit the environment. All parties involved must be concerned about the environment and devise solutions for dealing with papers, plastic, and other products that cause pollution of any kind (Herrera, 2015). Separation of waste is important to ensure that each item is taken to the right place. For instance, plastics, papers, cardboards, and glass may not be recycled together since each has different properties. Paper can be used for making toilet papers, plastics can be melted and used to mould other items such as basins, and wastes such as soda cans can be used for storing liquids including water. Some employees may not like the idea since they may think that it is additional work. In this case, the management should make it easy by placing recycling bins near the offices or in areas that are easy to access (Herrera, 2015). Everybody should be involved although those that are passionate about the environmental protection should be the champions for the program. The management must show appreciation for the work done and ensure that they reward the employees by creating monthly or yearly awards for those that show great concern for recycling. Establishing a company recycling program that ensures reuse of plastics, papers, metals and other materials is essential since it will benefit the organization, country, and the world.

Benefits of Recycling

Recycling has several benefits for the environment and business thus programs should be implemented in organizations. The business can make monetary savings since a reduction of dumped waste translate to reduced costs. Some materials such as scrap metal, paper, and plastics earn ready money if sold to dealers. There is no need of polluting the environment yet recycling can help in waste management. Environmental protection is very important since recycling reduces several air and water pollutants. For instance, recycling of paper saves many trees and gallons of water, which are the main raw materials during paper processing. Recycling helps in reducing the strain on landfills allowing non-recyclable materials such as electronics to be buried. It also leads to saving of energy since creating a new item from recycled material consumes less energy compared to creating it from raw materials (Hunton, 1994) some materials from electronics may contain rare metals that are very expensive to acquire. Recycling such components can help in the protection of the environment since strip mining will be reduced. In addition, it may lead to job creation to people reducing unemployment rate. Some can be employed to carry out recycling activities and in manufacturing industries to deal with collected waste materials. Herrera (2015) argues that recycling is a form of CSR activity and a company that engages in environmental protection is highly honored by its customers. People may prefer buying from an organization that has concern for the environment and the community that it serves. It also lowers staff turnover as some activities involving recycling boosts their morale. Starting a program for the recycling of waste in a company can help an organization to enjoy the benefits of reusing materials.

Recycling is associated with environmental protection through diversion of waste from landfills as this can lead to groundwater pollution, airborne causing agents, and competition for open space (Aadland & Caplan, 2006). Too much waste disposed on the land occupies space that can be used for economic developments such as mining agriculture among others. Riedel (2011) argues that recycling is also associated with decrease in the greenhouse gases such as Carbon IV oxide and Methane gases. According to WHO, long-term health for humans depend on the cleanliness of the atmosphere and public health is dependent on availability of clean drinking water, enough food, availability of shelter, and excellent social conditions (Riedel, 2011). Workplace recycling program is very important in the modern era since a lot of waste is produced every day, especially in towns. Companies are choosing to go green and reduce environmental pollution and having a program that ensures reuse of waste can help in improving the image of the company. The eco-conscious managers should support the idea fully despite the challenges encountered throughout the process. Since the benefits of recycling are more than the drawbacks having a program that ensures environmental cleanliness and maintenance is very important in business organizations.

How to Establish a Recycling Program

Some business owners normally overlook recycling yet it can create a friendly business environment if especially the management takes the right steps. Many items that are reusable are sent to the landfills yet most of the materials can be reused and improve living conditions of human beings (Trendafilova & Nguyen, 2015). Starting a recycling program requires a company to take various steps such as knowing the kind of trash that it dumps in the bins. Even if the waste may be considered as dirty work, it can be useful in many ways once recycled. Some companies' wastes consist of paper, cardboard, metal, plastics, and many others. However, the venture managers should establish the type of waste that can be useful and the laws that regulate the recycling process. After knowing the trash in the bins, it is wise to contact the local recyclers and the rules that govern the entire process in the country. The company must establish the kind of trash the recycler accepts before making the final decision of recycling waste materials. After this, the management should place a recycling bin near the desk of every employee and encourage the workers to throw recyclable material. Some of them include soda cans, paper, and plastics, which can then be sorted out and delivered to recyclers. Another bin, for non-recyclables such as food wastes, can also be provided to each worker. Another step is to arrange large recycling bins around the premise especially near copiers and printers as they produce the largest waste. Each bin should be labeled and the materials to be thrown in it indicated such that each waste material goes to a specific bin. According to Taylor, Pollard, Rocks & Angus (2015) employees need to know the purpose of recycling wastes and educating them about the plan can be very important. This can be done by sending emails or writing a memo that communicates the goals and the responsibility of the employee in environmental protection. Training sessions should include a demonstration of sorting out waste to avoid mixing them up in the same bins. Those that need to pick the bins and prepare them for collection should be informed and educated on their role. In addition, every new employee should be taught the company rules and responsibilities as far as environmental protection is concerned. The management can offer some incentives such as free lunch or a day out to encourage them to achieve theory goals. Shoeb Ahmad ( 2015) proposes that according to the Green HRM, giving rewards and compensating employees that are supportive to matters related to environmental protection can improve their morale. A UK survey by CIPD/KPMG indicates that 18 percent of companies in the United Kingdom reward workers portraying green behaviors with financial incentives (Ahmad, 2015). Every employee must be notified of the progress of the program and reports indicating the volumes of trash collected must be kept safely. Taking the necessary steps when starting this program will reduce the possibility of conflicts and ensure support of the employees.

Challenges of Establishing a Recycling Program and how to overcome them

Recycling is an effective way of promoting environmental protection but several problems emerge during the process. One of the challenges is lack of education items are recyclable and the companies that can buy such items. Many people will throw everything in the trash bin instead of recycling bins for lack of knowledge. This can be solved by educating employees on methods of recycling and ensuring that each has knowledge about its value on the environment. Another challenge is the cost such as paying the pickup services especially for smaller companies that are still struggling to achieve success (Trendafilova & Nguyen, 2015). Purchasing different recycle bins for every employee may be too costly for the companies needing to ensure reuse of items and some just opt for a few trash bins for collection of wastes. The problem can be addressed by improvising recycle bins for employees by using cheap containers or cartons until the company is able to purchase some. The collection can be done twice a month to reduce the cost of pickup services.

Inadequate recycling facilities also pose a challenge to companies since there are few collection facilities that make use of trash. In addition, lack of support from the authorities and company management may hinder implementation of the program leading to inefficiency in the collection of garbage. For a recycling program to succeed there must be cooperation between the community, company, and legislators who are interested in going green (Zhang, Ding, Liu, Pan, Chang & Volinsky, 2015). Starting costs may also be too high and companies have to allocate funds for collection services. However, the returns may be more since the company is able to meet its CSR goals and build confident in its employees and the regulatory bodies. If a company cannot meet the huge cost of recycling, the management may decide to start a paperless office in which all documents should be electronically generated. According to Hunton (1994), a company should start by establishing a document imaging system and acquire the software needed to set up the project and have it running.


Starting a recycling program in a company may be a challenging task but the results are promising especially on improving the environment and saving in cost for the firm. The right procedure is necessary to ensure that companies get the support of employees in such a program since they play a big role in separating trash and recyclable materials. Several challenges such as high initial costs emerge but the management should work closely with the staff to ensure that the project is successful. Going green is one of the aims of the continent and companies that start these projects are highly honored by their customers and authorities. Starting a company program for recycling is a good idea but requires the full support of the management and every employee.


Aadland, D., & Caplan, A. J. (2006). Curbside Recycling: Waste Resource or Waste of Resources?. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 25(4), 855-874.

Ahmad, S. (2015). Green Human Resource Management: Policies and Practices. Cogent Business & Management, 2(1), 1030817.

Herrera, M. E. B. (2015). Creating Competitive Advantage by Institutionalizing Corporate Social Innovation. Journal of Business Research, 68(7), 1468-1474.

Hunton, J. E. (1994). Setting up a Paperless Office. Journal of Accountancy, 178(5), 77.

Riedel, L. M. (2011). Environmental and Financial Impact of a Hospital Recycling Program. AANA J, 79(4).

Taylor, C. M., Pollard, S. J., Rocks, S. A., & Angus, A. J. (2015). Better By Design: Business Preferences for Environmental Regulatory Reform. Science of the Total Environment, 512, 287-295.

Trendafilova, S., & Nguyen, S. (2015). Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment in the Sport Industry. Sport Management and the Natural Environment: Theory and Practice, 76-87.

Zhang, S., Ding, Y., Liu, B., Pan, D. A., Chang, C. C., & Volinsky, A. A. (2015). Challenges in Legislation, Recycling System and Technical System of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in China. Waste Management, 45, 361-373.

March 10, 2023



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