Desk-Side Recycling Bins Reduce Waste

June 9, 2015

Improve recycling up to 20% with an easy switch.

A simple change in the size of recycling and trash containers could vastly improve the amount of waste that is correctly recycled in offices, according to new research conducted by Action Research and commissioned by Keep America Beautiful. The report, which measured conditions in 34 offices across the U.S., found that a workspace that incorporates a desk-side recycling bin with a smaller trash bin is most effective at encouraging occupants to separate recyclables from the garbage.

The researchers found that using the larger recycling can increased recycling from 65% to 85% while reducing contamination in the recycling bin by 20% and cutting the amount of recyclables in the trash from 29% to 13%. The researchers also studied a layout using two equal-sized bins for recyclables and trash. While the amount of recyclable materials did increase, the layout was not as effective at decreasing the amount of recyclables put in the trash.

The report offers tips for FMs to improve workplace recycling:

  1. Make sure every workspace has a small trash bin along with a regular-sized recycling bin. If acquiring new receptacles isn’t feasible, use bins of equal size.
  2. Include trash and recycling containers in common areas.
  3. Help occupants by including signs with common recyclable materials for the recycling bin and items only for the trash bin.
  4. Establish a consistent collection and set-up program so that everyone in your facility is on the same page.

Looking to boost your facility’s waste diversion? Check out how the WasteWise program can help you get started.

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