Today, office fit-outs just keep getting better and better. Companies are building truly beautiful environments for their staff to work and relax in. We’ve seen offices with sleeping pods, roof-top running tracks and all manner of other weird and wonderful features and designs. But one thing doesn’t seem to change...hidden away in the dark corners of the building, there lurks a motley collection of recycling bins; untidy, overflowing, with inconsistent and unclear signage. With the importance placed on recycling and the environment today, isn’t this a little odd?
Why should recycling bin stations be part of your fit-out?
Today, bins aren’t just for putting rubbish in; they’re a vital part of the circular economy; they bridge the gap between the creators of the waste (your staff) and the waste’s new lease of life through recycling. It’s essential, therefore, that these bins make it as easy as possible for your staff to recycle correctly.
A new office, whether brand new or just re-furbished, is an ideal opportunity to create recycling bin stations that make recycling easy for staff, and look great - not just look great, but make a statement; clearly demonstrating your company’s commitment to the environment. So here are 3 good reasons to design your bins into your new office.
#1. Match recycling bins to your new office interior design
Most bins are designed to be fairly neutral, just so they don’t look too out of place in any office environment. But with just a little thought, you can do better than this. By designing ‘recycling areas’ into your office, you can make the recycling bins blend in with the same material finishes & colours, or as the case may be, bins which stand out - which-ever suits your office style! Many companies now want recycling bin stations that don't look like waste bins, but more like a piece of furniture!
#2. Build bins into furniture
A great way to make your recycling stations look great is to build them into your office furniture. This way, your bins don’t just perfectly match your office decor; they’re part of it. Also, you can conveniently hide all your rubbish behind closed doors, leaving only a neat waste aperture in the counter.
This can also open up some great opportunities for signage - you can add signage to the doors of your station, and also to the counter - around the waste apertures - leaving users in no doubt as to which bin is which.
#3. Behavioural design
Instead of just looking around your newly fitted-out office and finding a convenient corner to just put some bins in, by designing them into your office, you can put them where they’ll be most effective. You will have the flexibility to place them with staff behaviour in mind, to make it as convenient as possible for your staff to recycle, and segregate correctly. Many companies have done away with bins under every desk which saves them a lot of cleaning hours and labour. However, when doing this it is important to ensure that there are enough recycling bin stations nearby (within 15-20 steps) and that they are placed near walkways, entrances/exits, break-out areas etc...
In addition to this, you can design the environment immediately around the recycling bin station for even more effective recycling. For example, adding clear signage that can be seen from around the office so people are in no doubt as to where to go to recycle. You can also add in signage and other elements at your ‘recycling area’ to ensure staff are clear as to what goes in what waste stream. For example, adding clear perspex boxes with what goes into each waste stream, to make it highly visual.
Hopefully, now you’re feeling inspired to create a truly unique recycling station in your next new office - build something great and watch your recycling rates soar! Feel free to share your results with us; we'd love to see them!