When we think of positive change within a company, we might assume it comes from directors, newly hired managers or external consultants. Traditionally change was thought to be instigated from the top down. Not in our office. In our company, everyone affects the direction of the company. One of our positive changes has been instigated by our office cleaner, Anne Walker. Anne, who gets up at 4am to start her day, has been with aZtec since 2010, and has cleaned head office for the past 8 years, alongside her other 6 client sites. The change started with a cat.
When Anne got her cat from MK Cat Rescue, she noticed a sign about raising money via Charity Recycling MK. It was simple enough. Collect crisp packets, biscuit packets, surface wipes packs etc. She had already started collecting milk bottle tops previously for Lush, who send them to Stormboard to be made into plastic boards to then be made into furniture, buildings, planters etc. She began by asking people in the aZtec head office to save their food packets which generated a few items to collect, but when she asked to have a specific recycling bin added to the office, the quantity of items really increased.
Each week, Anne collects the recycling and drops it off for Charity Recycling MK at one of their designated points. This has added to the items put aside by many other people also trying to make a difference. In just 6 months, Charity Recycling MK were able to raise £6000 and write a cheque for £3000 to MK Cat Rescue and another £3000 to Willen Hospice. This has been made possible through Terracycle. TerraCycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste.
If you are interested in recycling even more of your business waste, especially the type collected from staff lunches and snacks, why not take a look at Terracycle, and how you could be involved. If your business can’t get involved directly, why not take a look at a local organisation you can support. There are plenty about, it is just a bit new for a lot of us. Ask the parents in your office whether they already have somewhere they take their Ella baby food pouches, or see if anyone else currently recycles like this from their home. Adding a designated area in your office could make a huge difference, and your company can donate to charity without even having to give away a penny! This could be organised by anyone within your office, you don’t have to wait for management to pass a new recycling scheme. Don’t forget to feed back what you have achieved as a larger community. Hopefully you’ll end up with more people making the effort to think about their waste.