Posted by: RJ the Fire Dog Blogger | March 29, 2010

Get Tenants Involved in Recycling

Recycle

Last week we talked about literally including green in residential and commercial properties, with features like vegetative roofs and walls. Our topic today is one of the first things many people think about when they think about going green. And no, I don’t mean running in the grass chasing a Frisbee! I’m talking about recycling!

Helping your tenants recycle can be an important step in reducing your building’s carbon footprint. Why can’t they call it a carbon pawprint? The first step to take before establishing a comprehensive program is to realize that any successful, long-term recycling program will require consistent encouragement and ongoing education.

Follow these steps to get your tenants and residents on the road to recycling:

  • Determine the type of materials that will be recycled, given your type of tenant:
    • If you want, you can take it slow. Start by recycling paper products and expand the program over time. For example, if an employee has a puppy, why not let him take home some newspapers for potty training!
    • Choose a company to collect recycled materials:
      • You may need to enlist more than one firm if you have tenants who produce several types of refuse. Perhaps some tenants use pallets or unique packing materials that would require a specialty recycling company.
      • Establish recycling protocols and procedures:
        • Place bins in each tenant’s office
        • Bins should be situated near garbage cans and printer/document rooms
        • If tenants have a lenient bring-a-pet policy, then include a bin for treats
        • Tenants should be taught about which types of materials are recyclable as well as those that are not suitable for recycling.
        • Integrate document shredding:
          • Document security is essential for residents of apartment buildings as well as commercial property tenants. Offering commercial-grade shredding machines onsite will give everyone peace of mind about safeguarding important data. You could hire a group of canines to chew up your old papers, but think of the mess…
          • Make it easy to destroy sensitive documents and collect paper recycling at the same time. Tenants should educate their own employees about procedures for shredding data protection.
          • Encourage long-term participation:
            • Check in with tenant management frequently to ensure recycling procedures are being followed. Work together to offer new inducements to employees to reward their green efforts. Just like giving Rover a treat when he sits up!
            • Get management involved and excited about recycling:
              • Consider a tenant lunch to discuss the program.
              • Encourage commercial tenants to offer incentives to employees for participating in recycling efforts.

Establishing a tenant recycling program is not only environmentally-friendly, it can also be a selling point for new tenants that care about green practices. Implementing a variety of green initiatives can help you maximize occupancy and rental rates in a tight market.

Visit us next week for part 3 in our series about strategies for going green. Perhaps it will be an in-depth discussion on how felines are secretly trying to control the world economy?

For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore. Our e-based system offers the best emergency training available, with automated and integrated features. RJ Westmore, Inc. a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

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