Designing an effective recycling scheme

The CFM Group met to discuss recycling schemes. This page reports on the meeting. 

Recycling station.

Recycling bins at the University of Manchester (Photo: Pedrik, CC BY 2.0)

David Prestage of the BPR Group outlined how to design and implement an effective recycling scheme. The BPR Group is the parent company of Paper Round, the recycling company which was originally set up as a Friends of the Earth project in 1988.

Prestage outlined the main elements to look at when planning a recycling scheme. These include:


Reviewing your existing infrastructure - what have you got?

Measuring your waste volumes and weights - what do you need?

Assessing space availability - where are you going to put it?

First steps

  • An important first step is to “bin the bin”:
  • Remove under desk bins
  • Install central banks of bins
  • Segregate recyclables and non recyclables


Prestige said a communication strategy was crucial to implementing a successful scheme. Prestage recommended obtaining senior management buy-in and engaging with staff and running regular communications campaigns. He also outlined some of the benefits of a good recycling scheme, including reduced expenditure on cleaning, improved office environments and reduced risks of pests.

Prestige ended his presentation with a case study of the National Theatre’s efforts to implement a recycling scheme. The recycling service at the Theatre caters for the public areas, café and bar as well as back-of-house storage areas and a large area of office space.

Related materials

You can see a copy of David Prestage's presentation in pdf format below:

Presentation by PaperRound (PDF, 3.6mb)