RECYCLE AWAY FROM HOME
Offices, schools, restaurants, hotels, special events, and other venues can generate a large amount of recyclables. Unfortunately, these materials often end up in landfills when quality recycling systems are not in place. We encourage you to help create a recycling program at your business or request assistance from building owners or managers.
See tools and resources below.
For an overview of model programs and resources, visit EPA’s Recycle on the Go. Recycle on the Go is an EPA initiative to encourage recycling in public places such as parks, stadiums, convention centers, airports and other transportation hubs, shopping centers, and at special events.
Another great resource is the EPA's Municipal Government Toolkit. The Toolkit itself encompasses
1) a web-based component that extensively covers recycling
2) a graphics panel exhibit for conference
3) three (3) fact sheets, each focused on the Economic, Climate Change, and Community Benefits of Recycling, with statistical support
4) a brochure focused on Improving Recycling Programs.
This resource presents a collection of economic data, sample legislation, waste reduction efforts, and case studies regarding the impacts of recycling in the Southeast. The link is www.epa.gov/region4/recycle.
AT THE OFFICE
Businesses play a critical role in recycling. In many cases, decreasing waste disposal costs by recycling can help reduce the bottom line. Offices are great places to capture items such as paper, newspapers, beverage containers, electronic equipment and batteries. Hospitality businesses, commercial stores and warehouses can generate a large amount of cardboard, plastic film and glass. Whether your business is considering front or back-of-house recycling, the first step is to analyze your waste stream and to see how much material you can divert from the landfill.
For tips on creating a recycling program, see the DNR Sustainability Division's office recycling tool kit. Also, consider applying for the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia which fosters environmental leadership and recognizes superior environmental performance. The Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia is free and open to any business or organization that operates in Georgia.
Schools are a great place to recycle. Children typically enjoy helping out with recycling efforts. Topics such as ‘natural resources’ and ‘reuse’ are included in the Georgia Performance standards, and can be easily integrated into classroom instruction. Finally, consider setting up compost in the school yard or vermiculture bins in the classroom. If properly maintained, these can be great tools for learning and waste diversion.
Helpful Tools for Recycling at Schools:
Contests & Grants
Congratulations to the 2009 Stepping Lightly in Atlanta Awards Contest winners. Students across Atlanta were invited to submit entries for model projects that demonstrate how they have reduced their ecological footprint in their home, class, school or community. Students can choose from a variety of environmental issues to concentrate on such as water conservation, waste reduction, energy and transportation.
For a complete list of grants, see Environmental Education in Georgia.
Keep Atlanta Beautiful (KAB) has recently piloted a community recycling program at schools. Launched at Grady High School in the Spring of 2008, bins were placed in the parking lot to collect cardboard and an E-Waste Drop-off is hosted once a month. Proceeds go to Grady High School’s environmental program. KAB plans to duplicate the Midtown/Grady recycling pilot program in other parts of the city.
AT SPECIAL EVENTS
Planning a community event, conference, company picnic, wedding celebration, or any other type of gathering where food and beverages will be consumed? Remember to keep "the three Rs" (reduce, reuse, recycle) in mind when planning your event, and see tips and resources below on recycling at events:
Quick tips for recycling at events
In 2007 The Department of Community Affairs awarded special event recycling trailers to municipalities for use at local events. To find out more, click here.
Special event tools & resources
Recycling is becoming an important strategy to meet consumer's environmental tastes, while reduce operating costs and waste.
Guidebook for the Hospitality and Restaurant Industry. This guidebook provides the steps that restaurants and hotels can follow to implement a waste reduction and recycling program. It profiles ten business programs in the Washington metropolitan area that have successfully established these programs.
The Green Foodservice Alliance is a collaboration of the Georgia Restaurant Association, American Culinary Federation ~ Atlanta Chapter, Georgia Organics and the Georgia Grown program at the Department of Agriculture. Their mission is to create and implement Sustainable Best Practices in the foodservice industry. The two task forces, the Green and Producer’s, are committed to action and making a difference.
The National Restaurant Association's Conserve initiative is designed to initiate and inspire actions that improve a company's bottom line, but is also good for people and the planet. Conserve explores conservation efforts being adopted by restaurants around the nation and offers suggestions and resources to help you reduce the cost of running your operation -- both to your bottom line and the environment.
The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) created some tips to help businesses and local recycling officials get started with bar/restaurant recycling.
Atlanta Recycles and the Green Foodservice Alliance have partnered to create a Zero Waste Zone in Atlanta's downtown convention center. To find out more, click here.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
There are both environmental and financial benefits to earning LEED certification. LEED-certified buildings: