Thinking Beyond the Recycling Bin

Recent study offers critical insights on how organizations can bolster recycling programs

ATLANTA, Nov. 15, 2010 – Sustainability programs have become an integral part of daily business and organizational operations everywhere. Take-back programs for all types of recyclable items have materialized in business offices, retail stores, hospitals, universities, military bases, public agencies and other places where the environment is valued. As take-back programs expand, so do the challenges of managing them.

Recent research by Call2Recycle®, North America’s only free battery and cellphone collection program, showed that in many cases, take-back programs designed to collect multiple items need to be re-thought in order to be effective. The company’s findings indicated that many take-back programs underperform due to serious design flaws.

“Organizations are moving very quickly to meet the recycling requirements being set by the government and the sustainability desires of consumers and employees, but in many cases, the fast pace and lack of knowledge hinders businesses from creating effective collection programs,” said Carl Smith, president and CEO of Call2Recycle. “A well-designed recycling program can enhance a brand, generate loyalty and make a major impact on environmental preservation, but businesses are making big mistakes that inhibit true progress.”

The top five study findings include ways that organizations and businesses can enjoy greater recycling results:

  1. Signage should be based on pictures rather relying on words.
  2. Avoid designing kiosks that resemble trash cans, or expect to find trash – move away from bins and toward a kiosk design.
  3. The collection kiosk must be shaped to fit the materials that will be disposed.
  4. Collection kiosks should be visible and near the entrance without interfering with operations.
  5. Employees must be properly trained to effectively implement the recycling program.

For more details about the findings of the study, visit

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