Train Your Staff

Train Your Staff

This week, meteorologist Laura Betker visited with a number of KARE 11 employees who described how much they had learned about recycling over the last 10 weeks of the Great Green Challenge. Watch the video here.

  • News anchor Julie Nelson said having a recycling bin right at her desk was critical because she may not walk across the room to dispose of trash appropriately.
  • Some staff were happy to recycle, but expressed difficulty in reducing paper waste – old habits can take time to break!
  • Peer pressure was a strong motivator, said one staffer, whose co-worker pays attention to what those around her are throwing out and helps educate them on which bin to put it in.
  • And news anchor Randy Shaver took a light-hearted poke at Laura Betker. She has done a marvelous job in her role as a recycling champion to make recycling and reducing waste as easy as possible as well as educating staff at KARE 11.


Employee participation and training is critical to the success of any business’ recycling program. Spread the news about your recycling efforts to maximize participation.

What inspires employees to join the recycling revolution? Information and positive reinforcement! Try these steps:

  • Share why recycling makes a difference.
  • Share company recycling goals.
  • Train staff on what is recyclable, how to do it and who to contact with questions.
  • Celebrate success – reward employees for great work.


Why recycle?

Recycling saves energy, benefits our economy, and protects our natural resources. Minnesotans recycle more than 2 million tons of material annually, but there is room for improvement. Recent studies show that 21% of our trash is recyclable paper and that more than half of the people in Minnesota don’t recycle at all. Show employees how your business will save money and how that impacts them.

Company goals

Businesses that Look in the Bin (step 2 of the Business Recycling Pledge) evaluate what recyclables are in their waste stream and set goals to recycle more and reduce waste. Make sure employees know your goals and are active participants in reaching them.

Train staff

An essential step in training staff is to clearly label recycling bins so everyone knows what to recycle. You can also hold group training events, create a visual display of items that can and cannot be recycled in your program. Reinforce recycling messages in company newsletters and emails. Make sure to work with facility staff that handles recyclables, from custodial staff to outside contractors, to make sure programs are working properly.

Celebrate success       

Did recycling increase at your business? Fantastic! Celebrate with your employees: talk about company goals that were made and highlight staff members that have made changes. Create an awards program, share good news in company newsletters or even throw a party.

Then we encourage you to take the pledge to start or improve recycling at your workplace or business. Be a champion, take the pledge, and join the Recycling Revolution today!

Author: Rethink Recycling

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