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The porters are one of your secret weapons for reuse!

If the CEO and senior management abandoned an organisation overnight and did not come back for one month.

The staff probably would not notice the difference.

If the porters did the same, after 3 days the organisation would not be able to function.

Porters are the unseen oil that grease the cogs of any large estate. Their work usually goes unnoticed. Who grits the path at 4am in the morning on a cold winters day? Who makes sure the waste does not back up and is collected on time? Who makes sure the corridors are free of obstruction?

The porters are big influencers on your estate. They cover most of the estate every day and talk to hundreds of staff. It would be silly to dismiss the "word of mouth" communication potential.

In this brief article we explain how the porters are your hidden force multiplier for increasing participation in your reuse program or any culture change project for that matter.

The porters have a unique opportunity to carry your message. Read on to hear how.

We tell you what the hooks are for the porters and we also give you access to drop cards which your porters can leave at the scene of disposal. 

You can order your drop cards below.

Our customers consist of large organisations with large estates. Customers usually have some sort of Portering Service.

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What do porters do?

Porters are essential to the smooth running of an estate or within an institution. They provide a safe and secure environment for staff and visitors providing a range of customer focused services.

Porters may transport assets around the estate and are also usually responsible for the waste disposal processes.

Porters are usually responsible for assisting with the general housekeeping of the estate such as maintenance, greeting visitors, some cleaning duties but they are usually famed for the lifting and shifting.

Lifting and shifting can include the removal/storage/clearance of furniture, fixtures and fittings and assisting with relocating staff and their belongings around the estate.

This is where your team of porters can really assist with encouraging reuse or any culture change project...like recycling, energy efficiency etc.

The porters have close working relationships with many stakeholders across your estate. They are a great force in promoting your program. You need to train up all of your porters on why your program is good for them, for the institution and the environment.

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Why do porters love reuse?

  • It is the right thing to do. No porters like scrapping assets which can be reused. I talk to some porters who say a significant proportion of their time is spent smashing up desks.
  • Stops double handling. The biggest issue with porters is manual handling injury. By having a good reuse system you can reduce their movements
  • Reduces the need for storage. Storage can be consuming to manage. A good reuse system can take the pressure off storage.
  • Helps to deliver value on the estate


You can get a porters insight from the horses mouth right here.

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How do you get the porters to encourage reuse?

The porters are big influencers on your estate. They cover most of the estate every day and talk to hundreds of staff. It would be silly to dismiss the "word of mouth" communication potential.

1) Meet the head of the porters to discuss the following.

2) Invite the porters for a meeting. Best if you do this in a local canteen over breakfast on a Friday if shifts allow!

3) Deliver your pitch. Tell the porters what is in it for them and what they need to do. Give the porters this process diagram to illustrate. 

4) Ask or tell the porters to consider adopting the following procedure

  • If a member of staff asks for a furniture or equipment disposal, tell them that they will carry out a disposal but point out that the item will most likely end up in the trash or storage (probably never to be seen again).
  • Ask the staff member to consider signing up to your reuse system going forward
  • Leave the member of staff with this card.
  • Put out a notification to staff that the porters will carry out 1 or 2 or 3 more disposals but going forward staff should add items for disposal to the reuse system.

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This drop card has been designed so that porters can drop off a message when they pick up an asset for traditional disposal. One of our customers John Foley at Liverpool Women's hospital came up with this idea. Thanks John!

How can policy help?

While you are changing policy softly over time, you should seek to change policy around this process. We have developed a template reuse policy for you to use as inspiration here.


Order your drop cards here!


Here's another Warp It hack

Use our templates to save time and get ideas!

Free Download

Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor

I use my time and experience to contribute to the transition to a regenerative sustainable society for all.


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