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How many recycling stations do i need
24 Apr 2018

How many recycling stations do I need?

It depends. No one business is the same and without having a one-on-one call, we can only provide general advice based on what we've learnt over the years. That said, here are two well used 'rules of thumb' when trying to understand how many internal recycling points you need.

Number 1 - No one person should be more than 10-15 steps away from a recycling point.
Number 2 - It is recommended that a recycling station should serve no more than 30-35 people.

Of course, as with everything in business, it isn't always that cut and dry. But it's a great starting point.

Other things to consider are:

#1 - The type and volume of waste - This is an important factor as it dictates the solution/s (therefore the number of stations) you need. A production line, regardless of industry, might typically need to recycle one type of waste at a time such as packaging, in large quantities. Whereby, an office will need to recycle a number of different waste types (paper, food, bottles etc), each in smaller volumes.


indoor recycling points

Our advice: Spec out your recycling/waste requirements based on the environment in which it will sit. This will help you understand not only the capacity of waste you need to handle but the waste types therefore which waste apertures your recycling point MUST cater for.

#2 - The space available - For new builds or re-designs, it is highly recommended that your recycling needs are considered during planning. Far too often, we hear from clients that wish they have thought about their recycling needs so much earlier.

Our advice - Ensure your CAD drawer and/or Architect build your recycling needs into the design.

For those limited to space you currently have, consider the two rules of thumb (above) and establish the optimum number of recycling points needed,

Our advice: Do a site walk and a staff count, then map out where recycling points could be positioned for optimum results.

If in any doubt, test it.

Regardless of your industry, pick one environment to test. For example, if you have multiple production lines, pick one. If you have a number of offices, pick one. In this test environment, trial a recycling point for three months. It doesn't have to be complicated - it could be a single bin, a bank of bins or a recycling unit or station.

Month 1- expect a peak in use. Most people are inquisitive and happy to give things a go. Let's call month 1 the honeymoon period where all is well and everyone is getting involved.
Month 2 - this is where you test the level of staff involvement. Does the system still hold the same interest? Have you established any niggles or frustrations? Has it hampered or helped efficiency of work?
Month 3 - This is the month where its effectiveness may plateau. This is when you can decide whether you need an recycling point, and if yes, how many.

Keen to learn more? 

You may be interested in our Bespoke Recycling Stations.