Why receptionists hold the power to drive recycling initiatives in Australian businesses

As a receptionist you’ll often know more about what is going on in a business than most employees (maybe even more than the boss).

Each day you greet your colleagues and clients, delivery people and service providers. You answer the phone, and may even screen calls (particularly those annoying sales ones).

On top of that you may be the office administrator, photocopier expert, and manager of the office stationery cabinet.

What’s this got to do with recycling? Well, for one thing, you’ll have a pretty good idea of the supplies that come into the office, and the waste that goes out.

Are there recycling bins for waste paper? Does that paper actually go to be recycled or do the cleaners just empty it into general waste? What about toner and ink cartridges from printers and photocopiers? Do they just end up in the rubbish bin? And what about other things that can be recycled in the office?

There are recycling options for more things than most people imagine, and receptionists are in the ideal position to implement new recycling initiatives.

Where to start?

As a receptionist, you may lack the authority to make major decisions on recycling, but that doesn’t mean you lack influence.

An obvious place to start is with printer and photocopier cartridge recycling. Most offices are eligible for free cartridge collection boxes, so it should be a cinch to get the boss on board with this one. And with cartridges taken care of there are other simple recycling initiatives you can suggest.

How about buying some colour-coded bins to make it easier for your colleagues to separate waste from recyclables? Check first that your building’s waste handling procedures ensure that the separated recyclables are in fact recycled. These bins are designed to deal with the types of waste that people are used to recycling at home – bottles and cans, paper and food waste – but your recycling ambitions needn’t stop there.

Another great recycling initiative is batteries. This is a really easy one to introduce into your workplace. It’s also an important initiative. Batteries often contain toxic materials that can do long-term harm to the environment.

Other types of waste you may only need to think about periodically, such as if your company is planning an IT or lighting upgrade.

These are also opportunities to remind your boss of the benefits of recycling, and can achieve really meaningful environmental outcomes.

Education is the key

Putting recycling programs in place is often the easy part. Getting your colleagues to separate materials correctly can be more of a challenge.

Here’s where your day-to-day contact with a large number of your workmates puts you in a position of power. Yours is the ideal position from which to provide the regular reminders and gentle encouragement that can turn your workplace into a recycling champion.

You’re not alone

In short, you have a greater ability to introduce recycling initiatives in your workplace than you might imagine. And you don’t need to go it alone.

Ecocycle are experts in providing workplace recycling programs for a range of hazardous wastes including batteries, fluorescent lighting and electronic waste.

For help with your recycling endeavours, fill in the form below, or call us on 1300 32 62 92. We’ll be happy to design a solution that’s right for you.

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