Help employees get on board with waste min by recycling cans for charity

Discussion in 'Best Practices for Starting a Waste Min Program' started by Andy, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Andy

    Andy Administrator Waste Min Publisher 2013 Industrial Waste Survey Participant

    It's easy to lose sight of what recycling and waste minimization can be "worth" to a company and its employees, and it can be even tougher to get a waste min program off to a good start from the ground up. Starting an employee recycling program can be a great way to overcome both of those obstacles and get everyone thinking more about minimizing waste... in the plant and at home.

    So, the premise is very simple: The aluminum cans we collect, from home or from the lunchroom, are recycled... and that money will go to (an employee program, charity, etc voted upon by the employees)


    • Shows employees what even a small recycling effort can be worth
    • Gets employees involved, not only in recycling, but the selection of the charity/cause
    • Helps fill the gap of curbside recycling in a convenient way (just drop it off on the way to work)
    • Provides continuous visibility to the program via updates
    • Funds a worthy charity or cause

    In our case, the program was started to benefit our corporate cause, Multiple Sclerosis. Our program is still very young, but for a few days a month, a small tow-behind trailer is dropped in the center of our campus, and employees throw their bagged aluminum cans in. That trailer is then towed to a scrap recycler, and the proceeds are deposited into the charity account. Pretty straightforward.

    Many of these cans are from home, because like 75% of the country, our area does not have curbside recycling. And while we certainly have some refinements to make (perhaps a full-time dumpster/dropbox at every building, better satellite collection) and we can do more to promote the program, we are still raising somewhere around $2000 a year for charity. This is for a manufacturing plant of around 300 employees, so you can imagine the potential for larger plants.

    So, a program like this can check a lot of boxes, so to speak... and help everyone in an organization think twice about waste and recycling in the plant and at home.

    If you have an employee recycling program, tell us about how you've structured it... and what kind of results and buy-in you're seeing... and if you haven't started, what obstacles you might be up against.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013