It’s not just about white paper any more. Whether it’s plain white paper, or colored paper, glossy, newspapers, magazines or envelopes. AMPM can help you design a recycling program that’s right for you.
One of the primary keys to making the recycling effort work, especially in a way that is efficient for both cleaning personnel and occupants, is to develop some clear building goals and procedures. To accomplish this, it is important to work with building management to support education and other efforts to engage the occupants in this effort. It is important to enlist the occupants to sort their recyclables and to make it clear which recyclables are to be collected and where they are to be placed (the use of signs, pictures, labels, stickers, etc., can be helpful). Recyclables that contained food, such as soda or soup cans, should be rinsed out by the occupants prior to being placed in collection bins to minimize the potential for attracting pests.
- Ensure that the building collection meets the guidelines from the local recycling hauler and recycling procedures.
- Ensure that occupants understand what can be recycled and how it needs to be separated. Ongoing occupant education is the key to a successful recycling program.
- Food containers such as soda cans should be rinsed clean by occupants before placing in recycling containers so as to not attract pests.
- Track recycling results. Recycling is a very important pollution prevention activity to reduce our burdens on the environment as a result of both solid waste disposal and the extraction of the natural raw materials. Many recycling efforts are guided by regulations and mandated, including EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines.10 Check with local waste haulers and recyclers to determine what materials are picked-up and the best sorting strategies. Among the materials to be considered for recycling include:
- Clear, green and brown glass bottles and jars
- Plastic containers
- White office paper
- Mixed office paper
- Telephone and other books
- Metal containers