As a property manager, restaurant manager/owner or retail manager you may have been thinking about implementing green initiatives onsite — but there are a lot of variables involved in this decision besides a personal commitment to the environment. You have a lot of issues to consider, such as: Is your location a good candidate for recycling? Will it save or cost money? Is it worth the time and effort? Will your tenants buy into or own the program?
Step 1. – Assess your property’s recycling potential
You actually may be able to save money by recycling if your business is able to separate its recyclable materials properly and keep them out of the regular trash collection containers, thereby reducing waste collection costs.
A waste audit will tell you how much waste your business generates overall and how much of it is recyclable. A reliable consultant can help you determine this, as well as, how much time and effort will be involved and whether or not certain types of recycling are available in your area.
Step 2. – “Learn” and “Take Ownership” of a Green Initiative
Selling your tenants or employees on their participation in the program is critical to its success. So it’s important to have a plan in place to educate them about the types of materials that are recyclable, the difference between organic and nonorganic waste, and selecting locations for appropriate receptacles to collect recyclable materials.
The plan should include procedures for notifying and educating new tenants about the recycling program, as well as reminding existing tenants about recycling system requirements.
Proper signage, easy to access recycling containers, and easy to access organic containers is crucial for designating the appropriate receptacles along with instructions for collection procedures. Keep a list of recyclable and non-recyclable items posted in easily visible areas of the location. Often employees who are responsible for cleaning the building need clear instructions about the separation of food and food-tainted wastes from recyclable materials.
Step 3.- Have pride in the value of what you are doing – The Ultimate Reward
One of the most rewarding aspects of recycling is a sense of contribution to the environment. Let your tenants know that their recycling efforts are making an impact — both locally and globally. If necessary offer incentives, contests or praise good recycling efforts. Own your results, be proud of your contribution, and be happy that recycling costs less.