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Recycling Week at Bloomingdale’s

POSTED UNDER Recycling & Waste Reduction

Partnering Up for a Greener Workplace

For Associates at the Bloomingdale’s offices in New York City, America Recycles Day was more than a day to think about recycling; it was an entire week to raise awareness, get inspired and recycle in a big way.

In partnership with Michael Aronowitz from the Facilities & Operations team, the Bloomingdale’s Millennial Employee Resource Group (ERG) spearheaded an entire Recycling Week program, primarily aimed at the Third Avenue building in New York City. “We thought it would be a great way to make Associates more aware of the new recycling and waste management policies that have been initiated by the city and help bring it into the Bloomingdale’s culture,” said Claire Callagy, an integrated marketing manager at Bloomingdale’s and a member of the Millennial ERG. Aronowitz explained, “We started off with single-stream recycling, and now, we’re doing three streams as a business.”

According to The New York City Department of Sanitation, “Businesses play a crucial role in protecting our environment and achieving the Mayor’s goal of reducing commercial waste by 90 percent by 2030.” As a part of this effort, Bloomingdale’s has committed to source-separated recycling, which means that waste must be sorted at the point of generation, requiring Associates to place items into one of three separate receptacles – one for garbage; one for paper and cardboard; and one for metal, glass, plastic, and beverage cartons.

Even though it’s the most common type of collection in the city, it was still a change for Associates. “It’s new for us, and breaking old habits can be difficult.” Callagy continued, “But, many millennials are focused on sustainability and environmental initiatives, so it was a good partnership and project to plan. Our Millennial ERG members want to make a difference and create an even greener work environment at Bloomingdale’s.”

The group’s Recycling Week was comprised of several different events and initiatives. “The biggest initiative was for the Blue Jeans Go Green program. We had collection boxes on each floor where people could drop off their old denim items they no longer used and wanted to recycle,” said Alexandra Horowitch, assistant buyer in Bedding and Millennial ERG member. Sarah Gaudio, senior assistant buyer, reflected, “I personally got a great response. I know my coworkers were really excited to donate their jeans because denim is so on-trend lately. So, after they bought new styles, this was an easy way to recycle their old or ripped pairs. We collected around 50 denim items to donate to the organization to be recycled.”

Millennial ERG members Autumn Ashley, image editor, and Ken Guerriero, media strategist and senior editor in social media, were instrumental in helping create a promotional animated GIF and a group video, which illustrated the amount of paper waste in the 919 building and encouraged colleagues to go paperless. In addition, during Recycling Week, the team sent out all-office emails with fun facts and statistics about recycling and sustainability within the retail industry.

The week of events and initiatives was well-received. Horowitch noticed that, “People were surprised by the overall amount of waste that we’re capable of producing and perhaps not recycling at Bloomingdale’s. So, increasing recycling awareness among our co-workers is what made this project a success.” Aronowitz agreed, “I now see more people stopping and thinking about where things go before they throw them away. I think people are paying more attention and are considering if their trash is garbage, metal, glass, plastic or paper to recycle it properly.”

The group hopes to plan another sustainability event soon and will look to collaborate with other ERGs and Associates to build on this successful partnership.

How do you recycle more at your store or office? Share it with us.


You also might like:

Five Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle and How
Digging Deep into Macy’s New Composting Program
Exploring Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Stores Recycling Program

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