July Recycling Mixer: Houston Center for Photography
MMD is honored to have this month’s Recycling Mixer hosted by the Houston Center for Photography. The Center has built a community through its offering of workshops, exhibitions, lectures and classes. Given this sense of outreach and goodwill it is no surprise HCP was an early adopter of the city’s business recycling program. MMD was able to chat with Membership & Administrative Coordinator, Rebecca Rossman, about how it all got started.
What encouraged you to change your business practices and go green? I don’t think it was necessarily a conscious decision. We have been taking our recycling to the local recycling center for a while. MMD made it easier for us by giving us the opportunity to enroll in bi-weekly curbside pickup.
What was the biggest challenge/what kept you from making the switch earlier?
We did not have any challenges, we only wish the business recycling program had started earlier!
Did MMD or the City of Houston help in the process?
Or what would you like to see these entities doing to help businesses recycle? Yes, MMD and the City of Houston helped us by informing us about the business recycling program. As soon as we found out that we could enroll and pay to have our own cart we immediately signed up to take advantage of this great program. It has been such a huge help in our recycling efforts to have the big green container. Now staff does not have to take time out of our busy schedule to make trip to the local recycling center. I wish we could have a weekly pick-up rather than bi-weekly. We have a lot to recycle and a every other week pick up schedule is not enough.
What all does your recycling program entail?
We are enrolled in the business recycling program. This means we have a designated recycling container that gets picked up every other week. We also have a recycling area inside the building away from the trash area where employees can put their recyclables. Once this space gets full we move it to the green container. If we have a particularly busy week with a lot of recycling we will take it to a recycling center.
Were there any unexpected advantages of going green that you had not anticipated?
The staff is happier when we recycle, it makes us all feel better.
How do your customers react to your green status?
I don’t think they actually know about it. We do not advertise that we recycle. I’m sure they would be happy to know that we are recycling!
How did your employees react?
Was it difficult to get them on-board? Everyone was happier to have a cart that they can directly put things in. It helps keep our designated recycling area a little more tidy, although, we still have an overflow problem from time to time. Everyone at our organization enjoys being green!
How has your perspective changed since making the transition?
I’ve noticed that it isn’t always easy for people to recycle. A lot of people still throw things away that could easily be recycled. I have also noticed that people like to take advantage of recycling efforts when they can. I’ve noticed that our neighbors use our green cart for their recycling. This is a bit of a catch 22 for our organization because on one hand I am happy they are recycling, but on the other it takes up our already limited space in the container.
What are your tips for making ‘green’ easy?
Designate a space that where recyclables can be put and make sure everyone knows where it is. Post the ‘what is recyclable’ signs near that area so people know what can and cannot be recycled. Keep a calendar of when the recycling gets picked up and be sure to roll the container to the street! I’ve forgotten before and we get overloaded with recycling.
Houston Center for Photography
1441 West Alabama
Thursday • July 25th
5:30 – 7:30