The challenge with virtually every recycling program is the cooperation of building occupants and the potential for contaminated bins — waste deposited in recycling bins and recyclables left in waste receptacles. To combat this challenge, custodial operations are encouraged to identify receptacles in an effort to encourage proper disposal.

Varying colors — such as blue for paper, green for glass, brown for plastics, yellow for light metals and gray for general waste — as well as proper signage and bin placement can add to the success of a recycling program.

Identifying and differentiating waste from recycling receptacles will lead to proper organization and will minimize sorting necessary from custodial department personnel. This will become even more important as younger generations come to expect these programs and recycling grows to include batteries, metals, liquids and food waste, for example.