Train your staff

3:50 PM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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Employee participation and training is critical to the success of any business' recycling program. Spread the news about your recycling efforts to maximize participation.

What inspires employees to join the recycling revolution? Information and positive reinforcement! Try these steps:

  • Share why recycling makes a difference.
  • Share company recycling goals.
  • Train staff on what is recyclable, how to do it and who to contact with questions.
  • Celebrate success - reward employees for great work.

Why recycle?

Recycling saves energy, benefits our economy, and protects our natural resources. Minnesotans recycle more than 2 million tons of material annually, but there is room for improvement. Recent studies show that 21% of our trash is recyclable paper and that more than half of the people in Minnesota don't recycle at all. Show employees how your business will save money and how that impacts them.

Company goals

Businesses that Look in the Bin (step 2 of the Business Recycling Pledge) evaluate what recyclables are in their waste stream and set goals to recycle more and reduce waste. Make sure employees know your goals and are active participants in reaching them.

Train staff

An essential step in training staff is to clearly label recycling bins so everyone knows what to recycle. Downloadable signs/labels are available from the Recycling Association of Minnesota You can also hold group training events, create a visual display of items that can and cannot be recycled in your program. Reinforce recycling messages in company newsletters and emails. Make sure to work with facility staff that handles recyclables, from custodial staff to outside contractors, to make sure programs are working properly.

Celebrate success

Did recycling increase at your business? Fantastic! Celebrate with your employees: talk about company goals that were made and highlight staff members that have made changes. Create an awards program, share good news in company newsletters or even throw a party.

Use this helpful tool kit as a guide for employee training. It includes information on why to recycle, activities that help teach what is recyclable and where to get more information.

Visit to learn more about going green at work.

Then we encourage you to take the pledge to start or improve recycling at your workplace or business. Be a champion, take the pledge, and join the Recycling Revolution today!

See a list of the great companies that have taken the pledge here.

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