Nov 15 2012
To be more responsible environmental stewards and to satisfy LEED-EB Gold requirements, ASCE staff have adopted an updated, more effective sorting of trash and recycling, via a campaign launched by the ASCE Foundation, headquarters building manager.
Going into the campaign, some 90 percent of ASCE’s disposal costs were for solid waste, with a mere 10 percent for recycling services. Yet a quick analysis showed that most of what was disposed of as solid waste was composed of recyclable materials.
Preparations included an August tour of the single-stream recycling center where all headquarters recycling is delivered. Foundation Executive Vice President Christine Williams and the rest of ASCE’s Sustainable Solutions Team became familiar with the process to be better able to promote its benefits to ASCE staff. Click to view a video explaining and demonstrating single-stream recycling. The plan involved:
- Labeling everyone’s desk wastebaskets to clearly ID them as “Trash for the Landfill”
- Providing a small, separate corrugated cardboard bin labeled “Mixed Recycling” that accommodates everything recyclable under the single-stream process
- An education campaign
It launched in mid-October with an email from Christine to all ASCE headquarters staff. “We need your help more than ever … We need to recycle more,” she wrote, explaining how vital it is to responsible waste management and to LEED certification. Foundation staff produced a short instructional video on the basics of trash and recycling management. Our mailroom staff re-labeled wastebaskets and distributed recycling bins across the building.
Early results have been very encouraging. Have you had any experience in implementing office recycling programs? What challenges did you encounter? Any successful techniques or strategies?
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