The Recycling at Work initiative from Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Stamford, Conn., is designed to encourage businesses, organizations and institutions around the country to pledge to increase workplace recycling. KAB has launched a new website, RecyclingatWork.org that features tools and resources, including recycling bin discounts, intended to help workplaces increase their recycling rates.
By taking the Recycling at Work pledge, entities can receive a 15 percent discount when ordering recycling bins from Recycle Away and Busch Systems and can access valuable resources ranging from recycling best practices and employee engagement activities to customizable promotional materials.
Recycling at Work is a joint Clinton Global Initiative commitment between KAB and Alcoa Foundation, one of the founders of the program, to increase U.S. recycling rates. KAB is soliciting businesses and other organizations to pledge to a 10 percent increase in the recycling of beverage containers, paper products, electronics and other commonly generated recyclable materials found in the workplace. Counted among KAB’s nearly 150 pledge partners to date are Clorox, Missouri City and Keep Phoenix Beautiful.
“In partnership with Keep America Beautiful, Alcoa Foundation is excited to sponsor Recycling at Work to help promote sustainable practices in the workplace,” says Tricia Napor, vice president, Alcoa Foundation. “Alcoa is committed to increasing U.S. recycling rates to 75 percent by 2015 and supporting workplace recycling helps advance this goal.”
Recycling at Work is guided by a hand-picked advisory council comprised of government officials, sustainability experts and nonprofit partners of KAB.
The potential for increasing recycling in the workplace has long been evident to Recycling at Work advisory council member Brad Molotsky, executive vice president and general counsel for Brandywine Realty Trust in Radnor, Penn.
“Based on workplace waste audits we have conducted, we learned that up to 90 percent of the material being put in the trash is easily recyclable,” Molotsky says. “By making some infrastructure improvements along with educating employees, we have achieved a recycling rate of over 70 percent for our office-generated waste. KAB’s Recycling at Work initiative, which provides tools and shares best practices, will provide much-needed support to office building owners, operators and tenants to increase recycling at work.”
Pete Chism of the city of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, adds, “Recycling at Work offers immense value to local and city governments who might not have the budget to build their own office recycling initiative. For existing programs, Recycling at Work provides a unique opportunity to renew an organization’s commitment to recycling and provides valuable tools to augment what is already in place.”
The focus on employee engagement separates Recycling at Work from similar initiatives, according to KAB.
Sean Nicholson, OEM 3R (Redesign, Reduce, Recycle) program manager at Microsoft, says, “Microsoft is keen to work with the Recycling at Work challenge to help organizations understand the choices they can make to reuse and recycle their used electronics.”
Businesses interested in taking the Recycling at Work pledge are encouraged to attend a webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The session will offer ways to promote recycling in the workplace and to celebrate the pledge as part of America Recycles Day, which takes place on and around Nov. 15. America Recycles Day, an initiative of KAB, is the only day dedicated to a national celebration of recycling. To take the Recycling at Work pledge or to attend the upcoming webinar, visit RecyclingatWork.org.
Industry leaders Microsoft, through its Greener IT Challenge, and Alcoa Foundation are helping to make Recycling at Work possible.