Recycling Program: Design and Implementation

Recycling Program: Design and Implementation

Having a long-term recycling program for your establishment is no easy task-it requires extensive planning and management. Before the separation of any material for the recycling to take place, the facility managers must take care of the following factors:

  • Choosing a recycling team or manager
  • Auditing the stream of waste for the materials that can be recycled
  • Evaluating the total cost 
  • Selecting a well-known recycling vendor
  • Arranging a proper system of collection
  • Educating occupants

Let’s take a step by step approach to this so that arranging the whole business becomes a lot easier.

Choosing a recycling team of manager

In order to run a recycling program successfully, you will need a devoted and adept coordinator for controlling different aspects of the program and acquiring the support of the occupants in the building. Therefore, having brilliant conversational skills along with organizational experience is a must. There are other responsibilities of the coordinator too- choosing the right vendor, preparing a waste audit and settling and fixing the waste collection system. The manager alone may not be adequate to carry on the whole task together. If there are too many occupants in the property, then the manager will have to form a team. This team should carry out many allied tasks along with carrying out the job of recycling such as educating other people in the building and most importantly, monitoring the progress of the project. They should also inspect recyclable collections for ensuring that there is no contaminants and the bins are regularly emptied.

Auditing the waste stream for the recycled materials

A waste audit becomes an absolute necessity for a successful recycling program before its implementation. The most reliable means of conducting an audit is hiring a responsible services concern, a consultant for systematic evaluation and a solid-waste hauler for determining how much needs to be discarded and what can be recovered. These professionals are skilled and adept in dealing with the various qualities and quantities of material needed by vendors as well as finding end markets for the recycled items. Moreover, a number of auditors tend to waive off their fees when they provide recycling services also.

Evaluating the total cost of recycling

One of the most difficult aspects of the recycling program is finding the means to reduce the costs and eliminating the rise in costs. It becomes crucial to assess the costs of a new recycling program and then use it to compare the total costs of solid waste management. The collection and processing of recyclables will surely require resources. All markets do not pay for recyclables and there are some which even ask for a fee for recycling and transporting the recyclables. There is also a cost of regular waste disposal as it involves a number of tasks like collection of garbage, transporting it to the disposal site for which a fee should be paid to the incinerator. The cost of disposal and its collection changes from one city to another and various aspect can be factored in here such as population density, frequency of collection, geographical location, how many times it is collected, the total number of members involved and such others. This means which factor is the costliest depends on the locality mainly and evaluating how this process will affect the community at large needs a full appraisal of the economic as well as ecological benefits of waste disposal.

Selecting a well-known recycling vendor

When you are armed with a reliable and experienced recycling vendor, you are halfway through the process of a successful recycling program. The vendor you choose should be able to provide all the critical education programs for the residents of the building. Vendors who aim to promote and publicize participation are very crucial to the growth of your corporate image. The work of the vendor is not restricted to this, they are expected to implement programs, answering different queries and assessing if any modifications are needed. Employing experienced recycling personnel aids in proper recommendations in terms of recycling regulations and materials used for recycling. Moreover, it is important to look into the financial resources of the vendors, the extent of insurance coverage and the use of equipment. Therefore, you can consider the following points before you decide to select a prospective vendor:

  • Materials collected by the vendor and the minimum amount for pick-up
  • Role of recycling vendor in promoting and implementing the recycling program
  • Contaminants that are allowed
  • If there is any availability of long term contract
  • If there are any rebate scheme available
  • If there is the availability of containers for recycling or the building must have its own
  • Whether there will be on-call or scheduled pickups
  • Cleaning and maintenance of dumpsters
  • If materials are required to be consolidated into a primary storage area
  • Handling of the recycled materials

Arranging a proper system of collection

The chosen system of the collection depends on auditing waste, availability of end markets, physical as well as the organisational structure of the establishment. For every single kind of waste selected, it is important to see how it will be separated and moved away from the user to the collection point. Segregation of recycled materials when it is generated is an effective way of separating different materials. 

Storing recyclables at a central location needs consideration of the available space and schedule of collection. Having a central storage location that can blend well with the requirements of the vendors will veer off any problem. 

Educating the occupants

It is important to educate the occupants in order to make the recycling program successful. If people are not aware of the recycling process, they will not be interested in participating. Awareness involves promotions, educating them on every single stage of recycling and the subsequent meeting must be conducted for generating and maintaining the active participation of people. In the first place, people must be educated about the aims and objectives of the program, its advantages and its overall impact on waste disposal. They should know what can be recycled and what not and there should be a proper guideline for participating. It is also important to update them on the progress of the program, rate of participation, total quantity recycled and success of the project. 

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