Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers

Having a recycling box nearby is a sure fire way to keep recyclables out of the bin © Planet Ark

Having a recycling box nearby is a sure fire way to keep recyclables out of the bin


Take It To Work

Planet Ark's Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers research, launched for National Recycling Week 2014, shows that one of the last hurdles for successful recyclers to overcome is the workplace. About 12.5 million tonnes of commercial and industrial waste is produced in Australia each year. While businesses generate more waste than households, commercial waste has a lower recycling rate, at only 46%.

The research found that over three quarters (76%) of workplaces recycle paper, about half of workplaces recycle common packaging items like bottles and cans, just under half (44%) recycle printer cartridges and just over one in five (27%) recycle mobile phones.

Having recycling programs in place is good for the environment but the research clearly showed that it is also good for staff morale with three in four employees (78%) agreeing that having recycling facilities at work either does, or would, make them feel like they work for a responsible employer. This represents an increase on 2013 when 71% of employees agreed. Workplaces that acknowledge and congratulate their staff for recycling correctly help facilitate and build this positive feeling. 

The biggest impediment to recycling correctly was identified as proximity to bins and confusion about processes.  The best way to ensure good practice is to clearly label recycling and to engage colleagues on the correct processes.

Research has shown that the biggest barrier to people recycling in a workplace where facilities are available is proximity and being unsure about which bins to use. Ensuring that bins have clear and simple signage and are located in easily accessible areas are two simple ways to increase recycling rates at work.

Get in on the secret

  • Visit Planet Ark's BusinessRecycling website to download a Step-By-Step Toolkit for successful workplace recycling. It includes:
    1. contact details for recycling services for more than 90 different materials;
    2. free recycling signage;
    3. tips on managing waste and recycling contracts; and
    4. suggestions for encouraging positive behaviour change among staff and customers.
  • Find out if your workplace is eligible for a free ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' collection box.
  • Partner with MobileMuster to securely recycle used mobiles and accessories.
  • Acknowledge and congratulate staff and colleagues when they do the right thing.

See Secret #4: Do it in Public


See Secret #6: Think Outside the Bin


  • Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers Report ( 4.47MB pdf file)
    This report for National Recycling Week 2014 lifts the lid on what makes a successful recycler, with each section focusing on actions that someone can take to be more successful.