There's a 'bin' for that!
Storing your bins is is a critical part of your waste program. Bins that are hard to get to or no one knows are there won’t get used, and that would be a waste!
The bins inside your business collect materials from your employees and perhaps customers as well. You likely have a good idea of what kinds of materials these are (for example: paper, beverage containers or food scraps from lunches).
Bins of a feather
Grouping bins is the easiest for staff or the public to spot and sort. Any waste bin (recycling, compost, garbage, and bottles and cans) should also be accompanied by the other waste streams to make proper storing visible and convenient. Making sure the bins are clearly marked allows customers and staff to quickly determine which bin to put their materials into.
Putting bins where waste happens
Review the current locations of your bins and containers to determine if they make sense based on how each area is used. Take into account the traffic flow in your place of business, and locations where people congregate. You will likely want a larger set of bins in the kitchen and lunch room, and a larger paper recycling bin in printing rooms. Conference and meeting rooms also tend to generate waste but at lesser volumes so the bins in these areas can often be smaller.
Desk systems can often be quite small depending on the nature of your business, if a lot of paper is generated a larger recycling bin may be required at each desk. However, the compost bin and garbage bin often don’t need to be nearly as large.
Bins big and small
The less often bins are emptied, you might need more, or bigger, bins. Take a quick walk through your business just before collection by the janitorial staff and note any bins that are overflowing or any bins that are underutilized. Remove underused bins or provide additional bins where needed.
Colour coding your bins (blue for recycling, green for compost and black for garbage) is a very quick and obvious visual clue for those folks who may not take the time to review signage. There are several companies who sell aesthetic and functional products to collect waste and recycling.
Some offer units that are budget friendly, while others specialize in luxury containers to fit your company’s preferences. If the aesthetic is less important, you can consider repurposing existing bins, as long as they each have very visible and clear signage.
Small Space Solutions
If you have a smaller area to work with, consider reducing the size of the bins and increase the frequency of collection by the custodial company or your staff. Also, many waste bin companies can provide expertise on options for small spaces, such as stackable bins or bins that can be hung off existing bins.
Dumpsters, carts and larger bins that are collected by your hauler are typically stored outside or enclosed in a garage accessible to collection vehicles.
Access to Containers
Ensure that your recycling and composting containers do not interfere with access to or collection of your garbage containers. Your garbage collection company should not have to move recycling or composting containers out of the way to reach your garbage. To make collection more efficient, ensure enough space for all containers to be collected safely.
Talk to your hauler about adding locks or securing the area to limit illegal dumping into your collection containers.
Short on outdoor space?
Smaller businesses don’t generally have large volumes of waste. If your business has neighbours, consider shared services to save money and space.
Discuss options with your waste collection service; can they provide more frequent service so you can move to smaller bins? Can any of the container sizes be changed to make room for others?
Stay smart in your waste practices by keeping containers easy to find, use and empty, work with your staff and customers to properly sort, and talk to your collection service provider to right size and save you money.
Storing your bins and recycling in a convenient and accessible place is a critical part of your waste program. Here are tips to help you create the right space for waste.