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How to Create a Facilitywide Recycling Program 

Starting a recycling program can feel daunting at first but, with the right process, a facilitywide recycling program can be implemented rather easily. Regardless of whether you want to create a facilitywide program, with multiple tenants, or single unit/floor options, there are plenty of steps both big and small that you can take.

Perform a Waste Audit: Ask questions and collect all the necessary data so you can make informed decisions.

  • What is your current waste volume?

  • Are your tenants primarily throwing away paper, boxes, and biodegradable food?

  • What kind of disposal equipment do you have?

  • What options do you have with your trash collector?

  • What are your monthly waste costs?

  • Are your tenants recycling already?

  • Is there a community event tied to recycling pickup that you could coordinate with?

Create Initiatives that Make Sense: Once you have a clear picture of your current waste situation create recycling goals that make sense for your situation. A "one size fits all" solution isn't productive for every building owner/facility manager. A few examples include:

  • If 50% of your waste is biodegradable food, start a composting program and donate to a local community garden.

  • If you have a large amount of boxes and paper, ask your current trash vendor if they have a dumpster that is dedicated solely to recyclable materials.

  • If your building is in a city that has a spring clean up initiative, participate and leverage your good deeds on social media.

  • Look for community partners to reduce costs. There are organizations that will come and pick up old electronics and similar.

Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate Again: Don't create a program in a silo that no one will use later because you didn't interpret their needs correctly.

  • Hold town hall meetings

  • Send out surveys and ask your tenants what their needs are

  • Schedule a Zoom call

Take a similar approach when you have an established program. Communicate to your tenants and tell them how they can participate, where recycle bins are located, and what to put where.

  • Create infographics and email to tenants so they understand what qualifies for the paper bin, the food bin, etc.

Monitor and Be Flexible: Create measurable goals and action plans to leverage your new program. Track costs and communicate to your tenants and brag about your efforts on social media. You're doing a good thing for the world; make sure you tell them. Remember to take small steps and be ready to pivot when needed. Your program doesn't have to be perfect, and it's okay to change mid-plan if something isn't working.

PMM can assist you in developing and implementing a recycling program at your facility. Ask us how. Contact us at for information.

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