Engaging people with recycling at work

Awareness and education are key to changing recycling practices at home or in the workplace. Councils or government departments have the difficult task of changing recycling behaviours in their spaces and at home. So here are some ideas from Method on how to engage employees with recycling in the workplace to make half of your job easier.

Create a green team

In any organisation, people are the greatest resource and within a group of any size, there is at least one person passionate about recycling and waste reduction. Collecting passionate people from across the organisation they can create, execute and communicate about green initiatives.

Implement an effective system

Make sure recycling and waste bins are colour-coded, easy to find and make it simple for users to know what stream their waste belongs in. Signage is an effective way to communicate best how to separate users, and regular interaction with consistent bins will make recycling an unconscious behaviour.


Everyone loves a competition, so if you are monitoring your waste levels start to separate by floor or team and reward the group that reduces their waste to landfill the most. Maybe the winners get a free Zero Waste Kit or a bonus to go towards a team lunch. Whatever the reward alongside bragging rights, it opens up conversations about recycling in the workplace and actively engages staff in their waste behaviours.

Best practice days

Try holding a weekly, monthly or annual zero-waste lunch day, encourage all staff to bring their lunch in reusable containers, ditch the single-use coffee cups, using packaging that can be popped in the organics bin or taking a reusable container to their favourite sushi spot.

This is just a reminder for people to consider the behaviours they engage in every day. One staff member moving to reusable containers can represent a significant saving in packaging over the course of a year.

Repurpose rebates

In many territories, there are rebates for certain recyclables, these funds can be repurposed in a number of ways to engage your staff in their waste habits.

  1. Pass them back to the teams as a perk for a team event
  2. Produce branded reusable products that can be passed out to employees and customers
  3. Donate them to a local charity

Team clean up

Do some good for the local environment, your staff and your corporate social responsibility and participate in a beach or park clean up event. Get out the branded tees, sun hats and gloves and work with your local community to clean up your backyard. This will raise awareness and engage staff while getting them out from behind their desks for a couple of hours.

Educational events

Sneek some recycling education into your weekly meeting or hold a dedicated educational event, with knowledge comes power. This can remove confusion as a barrier and help those who want to do the right thing.

Want to learn more about implementing an effective recycling system, get in touch with Method – methodrecycling.com.

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