Start a Paper Recycling Program

Steve Johnsen

Earth 911 has step-by-step instructions on how to set-up a paper recycling program at your office or facility. To summarize, here's how to set up a paper recycling program:

  • Choose a recycling coordinator and have them do a waste assessment so you'll know approximately how much paper you have to recycle. This will including looking for recyclables in the garbage stream.

  • Choose a paper recycling company in your area using earth911.org. Your waste assessment will tell you whether you have enough paper to warrant hiring a hauler, or paper recycling pick-up company, or whether you'll do the drop-off at a larger collection facility.

  • Purchase and set-up collection bins. You'll need three sizes of bins: desk-side bins, centralized bins per floor or area, and then final collection bins according to the specifications of your hauling company.

  • Organize paper collection. In most cases this will involve negotiating with cleaning staff to add this to their responsibilities along with garbage collection. You'll need to make sure they are clear on the waste streams to avoid mixing recyclables with garbage.

  • Encourage participation. Develop consistent and professional signage. Educate staff on a periodic basis about their recycling options. Celebrate recycling victories by reporting on the amount of recyclables collected in your facility.

  • Buy paper with a high recycled content .  You help create markets for your recycled items, bringing down the costs of recycling and helping the environment.

 

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