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RECYCLING HOW TOS | Colleges & Universities | Colleges & Universities - Create a Plan

Create a Plan

Colleges & Universities

Get your program off the ground with the creation of a game plan. A solid foundation for your plan should be based around your preliminary research and audit findings. These results will show how much opportunity for growth your recycling program has!

Using the results of your audits, surveys and research put together a plan for launching your new and/or improved recycling program to the school.

Set Goals & Objectives

The first step in creating a plan is to identify and set out key objectives and goals that your team would like to accomplish. Base these goals and objectives on the data collected during your waste audit and the other research you conducted. You can see the results of the audits displayed on the Dashboard. Focus in on what makes up the largest portion of your waste stream and determine how these materials can be reduced or recycled. Think about how much waste you’d like to reduce and what you’d like your recycling program to achieve for your campus.

Set a goal for what recycling rate you'd like to achieve. We recommend setting a goal of at least 35% if you are currently sitting below that mark. This will be a good starting point that is achievable but not overwhelming.

Best Practices for Container Setup

Identify Recycling Stations

Using the results from your Station Audit, identify all the locations of your recycling stations. Consider where you have stations currently and where you should add stations to improve your program. Go building by building and carefully consider the number, types and sizes of bins needed for each individual location. Pay special attention to high traffic areas and create strategies that will help to keep recycling simple.

Campuses are full of areas that require centralized recycling and waste stations such as cafeterias, foyers, hallways, classrooms, offices and dorms. The potential for waste and recycling collection is literally everywhere. When looking at the station locations consider exactly what each station will need to make it successful.

Plan Marketing & Education

No matter how well your recycling system is set up, the success of the program will rely on how well its received and how students and staff use it. A concrete marketing and education plan will be crucial to ensure all your hard work pays off and the launch is a success. Reach out to the students by advertising your recycling changes on social media and by sending out notices through email. Our resource center can provide you with posters, brochures and other various marketing tools to help your marketing campaign on campus and at events. Anything that will generate a buzz around campus and get students and staff excited about these changes are what your program needs to achive optimal results!

This is also a good time to start getting an idea of what you'd like your program to "look" like. The physical appearance of your bins, signage, labelling and educational materials can vary greatly depending on the colors you choose, the materials you use, and the icons you select.

While it isn't always necessary to theme your bins with your school colors, you may want to consider it as an option. In some cases, your users may already associate a specific color with a certain type of recyclable material, and in that case you may want to keep those associations in mind. You will need to consider this not only for the bins themselves, but for the signage and labelling as well.

Gather Recycling Equipment

Make a list of every location you will need bins, whether or not you require them to be durable, user-friendly, lockable and/or a specific color. This is information you will need when working with your bin supplier to actually select the equipment you'll order. Consider the following when actually choosing your bins:

The amount of traffic will determine what sized bins you’ll need at each recycling station. Look at your dashboard now that you have entered in your station audit data to see which bins are too empty, which are too full, and which are being used optimally at this time. You may need to re-arrange the bins you already have to get better results, or you might be better off getting new bins for certain areas.

Recycling bins can be customized to fit the look of any space and building design. Consider whether you want the bins to stand out and make a statement or if you'd like them to be more subtle. You may not have one answer. You might want to take a different approach depending on the program division, or even depending on which station it is within a division.

Whether you need bins for indoors or outdoor spaces you will need to consider how the bin will hold up under different conditions. You'll need this information to decide on which materials your bins should be made out of to best suit your needs.

The number of different types of recyclables will impact how many recycling streams you’ll need. This will likely be different depending on the locations of the stations. For example, you may have organics collection in the kitchens or cafeterias, but you wouldn't necessarily need a container for that in the accounting office.

Recycling of specialty items such as coffee cups, batteries or cellphone will require their own separate bins. Consider where these types of bins would be necessary and plan accordingly.

Bin customization is also a great way to encourage recycling. Bins customized in school colors or with the school logo will certainly be able to grab the attention of students.

We offer a wide Selection of Recycling and Waste Bins that can get the job done in any location across campus. Once you have successfully identified the proper bins you'll need its time to order and obtain bins. Work closely with your supplier to make sure they understand exactly how you want your bins to look and what your goals are. This way, they can help you achieve those goals.

Once you have created a plan and worked with your supplier to find appropriate container solutions, you're ready to move on to Step 5: Launch & Train.

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