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Getting your staff and customers on board

As a business, separating and diverting recycling and compost materials properly helps both the environment and can reduce your business costs. But how do you get your staff and customers to help you?

As a business, accepting recycling materials and compost materials is part of the waste and recycling bylaw required by The City of Calgary.

Train your staff

Train your staff on what can and cannot be recycled or composted and why. Include this as a specific point covered in new employee orientations. Teach new employees how to properly sort materials, and how to collect and store materials until it’s time for collection, including where internal and external containers are located.

Provide periodic reminders to all staff. Consider a regular ‘waste moment’ as part of a staff meeting where you discuss items making their way into the wrong bins.

Designate a champion or team of champions to the lead the programs and create reminders for staff.

Get customers and vendors involved

Let customers and vendors know about your recycling and compost programs shows you care about the community and the environment. Research shows customers are environmentally engaged and many remain committed to businesses who prioritize environmental and social responsibility.

Help them recycle and compost right.
Have recycling and compost containers available for customers. Post signage about recycling and compost programs on or above containers. Use photos of the real products and waste from your business to indicate how customers should sort their waste into bins.

If you’re green, let them know and let it show.
If business has sustainability initiatives, such as not offering plastic straws or donates money to environmental organizations, post this on your website and in your physical space. Also post environmental commitments you have made, like LEED status, True Zero Waste Certification, BOMA Best or Be Local, in a visible area.

Remember clear, easy to understand, accurate signage is key for your staff and customers to easily make decisions on what goes in what bins. Consistent signage, colors and images help with this. You can also check with your collection service.

Monitor your program

Keeping your eye on the program doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Pre-schedule time in your calendar monthly to do a quick check-in with staff, walk around to look at bins and signage and get a birds-eye view of how the waste world is working in your business.

You should also perform regular waste audits to see what’s in your bins, and speak with your collection company to understand how your program is going.

Need a little extra help?

We have many free tools and resources  for your business or organization:

  • Access waste audit toolkits and calculators
  • Print signs, templates and educational materials
  • Learn about workspace presentations and professional advice from City staff to help start or improve your programs.
  • Sign up for our business and organization newsletter, and periodic updates about waste diversion and recycling.

Educating staff and customers pays off by improving the way your business handles waste by ensuring the right materials are in the right bins. If you feel like you need some extra in-person expertise, City waste reduction staff are available for presentations to help businesses with programs. Book now!

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Informing staff and customers

“Clear, easy to understand, accurate signage is key for your staff and customers to make decisions on what goes in what bins. Consistent signage, colours and images help with this.” – Jessica Nusse, a City waste diversion specialist.
What's in My Green Bin Image
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