BEST PRACTICE GUIDE: OFFICE RECYCLING

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1 BEST PRACTICE GUIDE: OFFICE RECYCLING

2 CONTENTS WELCOME WHY GET IT RIGHT? THE BENEFITS OF RECYCLING DESIGNING YOUR RECYCLING SYSTEM OFFICES KITCHENS AND CANTEENS STYLE OF BINS YOUR COLLECTION DAY COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF: WHO TO SPEAK TO COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF: WHAT TO SAY COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF: HOW TO DO IT HELPING YOU REDUCE WASTE, CARBON AND COSTS... 12

3 WELCOME 01 Welcome to Changeworks Recycling! You re in good hands, we re the only company that enables and supports businesses in Scotland to reduce waste, carbon and costs. Recycling is important because it helps your office reduce costs and meet Government regulations, as well as reducing carbon emissions. We ve helped thousands of businesses to set up and improve their recycling so we know what works. This guide is aimed at anyone responsible for recycling in an office. It s designed to help you get your recycling system right from day one in other words, well designed and easy to use. We re committed to making it as easy as possible so you can get on with your day job! How to use this guide This guide gives you advice and ideas on how to get your recycling system up and running. Every business is different so the guidance is flexible to suit your needs. The guide has been written in standalone sections so you can either dip in or read the whole thing through. Practical advice is given in the ACTIONS and HELPFUL TIPS boxes. Have a question? us at co.uk or call We thought setting up a recycling service would be difficult but Changeworks Recycling made it really easy. Their experienced and knowledgeable staff helped us at every stage and designed something that would work for us. Getting things right from the start made the transition much easier. THE CORNER HOUSE DAY NURSERY

4 WHY GET IT RIGHT? THE BENEFITS OF RECYCLING 02 Our experience shows that getting your recycling system right from day one means that you ll have a smoother journey and will be recycling up to 80% of recyclable materials straight away. A well designed system: Works for you and your office Is easy and convenient to use Fits into your office environment Doesn t put extra burden onto cleaning staff When we first introduce recycling, many of our clients have concerns. Will staff use it? Will it fit in with the look of the office? We ll work with you to make sure it s designed right and overcomes these issues. Once you re up and running we ll support you to make it even better - see page 12. Speaking to your staff about how and why to recycle is really important. We ve included some advice on this - see pages Why recycle? Changeworks Recycling: Reduces your costs Makes your office more resource efficient Helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste going to landfill Improves your image amongst clients, customers and employees Meets Government regulations Cuts carbon emissions ACTION: Have a look at the contents page and find what sections might be helpful for you. Create a simple action plan of what you need to do to get your recycling off to a good start. The Waste Hierarchy We help our clients apply the waste hierarchy. This means thinking about how much resource you need and reducing the amounts that go to waste. PREVENTION. IF YOU CAN T PREVENT, THEN... PREPARE FOR REUSE. IF YOU CAN T PREPARE FOR REUSE, THEN... RECYCLE. IF YOU CAN T RECYCLE, THEN... RECOVER OTHER VALUE (E.G. ENERGY). IF YOU CAN T RECOVER VALUE, THEN... DISPOSAL. LANDFILL IF NO ALTERNATIVE AVAILABLE.

5 DESIGNING YOUR RECYCLING SYSTEM 03 It s really important to get your system set up in the right way so that it s easy for staff to use and fits in with your office. This section is useful if you haven t yet decided on what and how many bins you need and where they will go. Layout and number of bins This will depend on the type of office you have, it s size and layout. The most important thing is to make sure the recycling bins are in a place that s easy for staff to use. If they are put somewhere inconvenient, staff won t use them. There are no hard and fast rules for layouts but we recommend the tried and tested layouts overleaf. ACTIONS: If you haven t already: Identify what recyclable materials there are in each area of your office. Think about how much space you have for bins and how many you actually need. Agree on the layout and type of recycling bins for each workspace. Have a question? us at co.uk or call The process of setting up the service was carried out in a straight forward manner, that allowed us to make a seamless transition to separate collections. YARD DIGITAL

6 OFFICES 04 These photos illustrate examples of how you could set up recycling in your office. HELPFUL TIPS: You don t need to remove waste bins from desks we haven t noticed any benefit of doing this. However, as staff start to recycle more, you may find there is less need for waste bins. We recommend that at least ask staff before removing them. To give you an idea, an office with 20 staff can produce bags of recycling and 5 10 bags of waste per month. You can reduce this over time. Small offices At the end of the desk: Paper General waste Common area (as required): Food tins and drink cans Plastic bottles Confidential paper As a small office, the layout has worked really well for us. It doesn t take up much space and is convenient to use. CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD Medium offices At the end of the desk: Paper General waste Somewhere central (as required): Paper Cardboard Food tins and drinks cans Plastic bottles Confidential paper Printer cartridges General waste Reception: Batteries Large offices At the end of the desk: Paper General waste Multiple recycling points (as required): Paper Cardboard Food tins and drinks cans Plastic bottles Confidential paper Printer cartridges General waste Reception: Batteries Additional materials can be added to your service - us at or call

7 KITCHENS AND CANTEENS 05 These photos illustrate examples of how you could set up recycling in your kitchen or canteen. Small kitchens Food waste caddy General waste Medium kitchens Food waste caddy Mixed paper and cardboard Food tins and drinks cans Plastic bottles Glass caddy General waste Canteens Food waste Mixed paper and cardboard Food tins and drinks cans Plastic bottles Glass caddy General waste Additional materials can be added to your service - us at or call

8 TITLE STYLE HERE OF BINS ALL CAPS YES PLEASE: OFFICE PAPER NEWSPAPER MAGAZINES WINDOW ENVELOPES NO THANKS: PAPER TOWELS PLASTIC COATED PAPER CARDBOARD We can help you decide which style of bins are best for your office. Our office bins are square and made of recycled cardboard. Each side has a different image so you can decide which one looks best, or turn them around now and again to get some variety. Our kitchen bins are made of recycled plastic. Other bins can be used as long as our bags fit. HELPFUL TIP: When the recycling is first introduced use posters to help staff know what materials the bins take. The containers Changeworks Recycling provides are perfect. The system is easy to use, the uplift service can be tailored to our varying requirements and there is always help at the other end of the phone if we have any queries. EMPEROR DESIGN

9 ON COLLECTION DAY Collecting the recycling If you haven t already, you ll need to identify a location for us to collect your recycling from. This may be a store room, cupboard or external container. There may be restrictions in your area preventing outside storage. However, if you store your recycling bags inside you may have to move them outside on the collection day. We will agree all of this with you at your induction. You will also need to consider who (e.g. cleaning staff) will remove the bags and store them prior to collection. You want to make this as easy as possible for them. No space? We offer a check and empty premium service get in touch if you would like to discuss. 07 Our system is designed to ensure frequent and prompt collections. This means you won t have bags sitting around for long. ACTION: Work out where recycling and waste will be stored and picked up for collection. Have a question? us at co.uk or call

10 COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF: WHO TO SPEAK TO 08 To make your recycling system work, it s essential to talk to and engage staff. Every office is different but you will probably need to speak to: All staff - they need to know how to use it and be encouraged to do so. Cleaning staff or whoever will empty the bins. They need to know how to do this. Senior staff they need to lead by example and show how easy it is to use. Getting them onboard is often one of the most important stages to getting buy-in: if they are seen to recognise the benefits of recycling there is more likely to be organisational-wide support for recycling and other people will follow suit. Any staff who can help spread the message such as communications staff or a Green Team, if you have one. Think about who staff are likely to listen to. ACTION: Write a list of who you want to include in your communications. Recycling involves everyone, so make sure your communications will keep everyone informed. HELPFUL TIPS: Can t convince some staff? Don t worry! There will always be some people who are harder to convince. Focus on engaging the majority of staff who are willing to recycle and keep promoting positive messages. Once lots of people have started recycling, you ll probably find others will soon decide to join in! Consider setting up a charitable donation for every kg recycled or kg of carbon saved. This might persuade anyone not already recycling to join in so they can help their colleagues raise money for charity. We decided to get our National Director on board from day one; this was essential in getting buy-in from staff. SUSTRANS

11 COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF: WHAT TO SAY 09 This section gives advice on what information you need to communicate to the staff who will be using the recycling system. They need to know: How to recycle What materials can and can t be recycled? What materials go into what bins? Where are the bins? Use the What can I recycle? guide to help - this is available from The benefits of recycling There are lots of benefits and people will be motivated to recycle for different reasons, such as: It helps the environment It s the norm everyone s doing it! It s helping us meet Government regulations It s helping us reduce costs It s good for our business and Corporate Social Responsibility Think about what messages might work in your office ask colleagues if you re not sure. Some people will be interested straight away; others may need convincing! How to get further information Staff may have questions about the recycling so make sure they know who to ask, whether that s you or someone else (such as the Green Team or a rep in each team). You should have the answers to most questions, either from this guide or other information we ve given you. One common question is: where are the materials recycled? ; the answer is: we recycle everything in the UK.

12 COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF: WHAT TO SAY 10 Staff updates Think about providing staff updates, for example, on how the new recycling scheme is going. We ll send you monthly Carbon Reports which you can use - see page 12. Also remember to let staff know of any changes to the recycling system and give them an opportunity to feedback comments or suggestions. Stuck? us at or call We were worried that staff wouldn t use the system. With advice from Changeworks Recycling we developed positive messages to tell staff why we were doing this and the benefits of doing so. We also made sure it was really clear how and what to recycle. The feedback from staff has been great; they use it because it s simple to do so! THE GLENMORANGIE COMPANY ACTION: Decide on your key messages to staff. Make sure they re short and clear. HELPFUL TIPS: This is a rare opportunity to engage all staff. Use it to build shared values across your organisation and make staff feel like they are part of something positive and worthwhile. Avoid surprises! If there are changes to the system at any point, make sure staff are informed about what s going on.

13 COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF: HOW TO DO IT 11 The best way of providing information to staff about the recycling system will vary from office to office. You re more likely to get the message across if you use several methods. Some ideas are: s Intranet Newsletters Posters - see page 6 Staff bulletins Staff meetings A drop-in or lunchtime session with Q&As Consider: Who do staff listen to? They re likely to be influenced by their peers as well as their managers. What do they read? For example, there is no point putting information on the intranet if staff don t read it. Why not ask some staff for their opinion before you decide? When you re providing the information. Tell them about it before and when the recycling is introduced. Send out reminders a few weeks later. Less is more: give short and easy-to-understand information. Most staff won t want lots of detail but make further information accessible if they wish to know more. ACTION: Write a communications plan. It doesn t have to be very long but it will help you in the long run and is more likely to make your scheme successful. Include key actions, who s involved and when you plan to do them. HELPFUL TIP: Make sure staff have a way to provide feedback for example, if something isn t working for them or they think it could be improved. Each team could have a rep to talk to or you could carry out a quick survey.

14 HELPING YOU REDUCE WASTE, CARBON AND COSTS 12 Congratulations! Your recycling is now set up and you are ready to start reducing waste, carbon and costs. Going forward we re committed to making your recycling even better. Every month we ll send you a Carbon Report which shows: How much you ve recycled How much carbon you ve saved You ll be able to track progress over time and see where recycling rates have improved. We ll help you to identify any problems or opportunities to increase recycling further. Celebrate your success! Use information from the Carbon Reports to show staff how well the office is doing and to encourage them to recycle more and waste less. I ve found the Carbon Reports very informative. We can clearly see the progress we ve made and identified where we could be recycling more. They re also good to share with staff - it helps them to see that they re making a difference. EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE ACTION: Review your monthly Carbon Reports to see what s working and what isn t. HELPFUL TIP: Want more information on how you re performing? We can use waste compositional analysis to calculate how much of your waste could have been recycled, therefore identifying areas to improve. We hope you found this guide useful. If you have any questions us at or call

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16 REDUCING WASTE, CARBON AND COSTS. Changeworks Recycling 2015 All images copyright Changeworks Recycling CHANGEWORKS RECYCLING 36 NEWHAVEN ROAD EDINBURGH EH6 5PY T E A CHANGEWORKS COMPANY

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