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Zero contamination for the month of May!

Contamination is a significant issue for Ree, and recycling in general. 


Because it can render an entire batch of recyclable materials unusable, leading to increased costs due to cleaning and reducing the efficiency in the recycling process.

It’s with great pride that we managed to achieve zero contamination throughout the whole of May from our clients. Not a single bottle had any residue liquid, other than water in it, no food was left in take out containers. 

How did we do this?

Education is a vital part of what we do at Ree with our clients. This is done in a way which helps them  understand the implications of not segregating their material properly and showing them what they did wrong when mistakes are made.

Although time-consuming, the fact that we manually check all material coming through the Ree facility means we start to see trends with clients and can go back to them with accurate feedback through monthly reports but also review sessions with the employees.

The workshops we carry out,  highlight and congratulate the efforts being made by the staff but also puts them in the spotlight for mistakes. One of our favourite examples was when someone put a pizza box in the paper recycling with the pizza crusts still inside. That was their first mistake, but the bigger one, was they also left the receipt attached to the box, so we knew the date/time it was ordered, what pizza it was and most importantly-  who ordered it.

We didn’t name and shame the individual, but we did put a photo of the offending item on the big screen to show the employees that we check everything. I was keen to see if the person responsible would try to hide themselves when we showed it on screen.

Pizza box contamination

It’s not just the employees who learn, but ourselves as well. No client is the same and so we update and iterate our recycling segregation systems regularly to maximise results. One solution might work really well for one client but not another. We work with our client employees rather than forcing them down a route that doesn’t work.

The feedback sent in the monthly reports are always constructive and provide solutions. A common example is water left in bottles, where the water isn’t too much of an issue, but it can affect the weight and impact tracking. The solution for this is to use leftover water to water plants around the office.

As of writing June is zero contamination as well, but with some new clients coming on board it might not last because the feedback loop to perfection takes time. Our clients with fewer employees are quite quick to reach this point but those with over 100 employees have taken a few more months to get here.

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