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In most situations it is better to "be the change you wish to see". Why not bring your own reusable cups (if you don't already), if the machines are often running out of cups then other people might see this as a practical solution for them even if they don't care about the environmental issues.
There are some people who do bring their own cups and reuse them and I would as well if I were going to get a coffee. I have taken my own bottles home from work and recycled them there,but not sure if people noticed that
Regarding the recycling, you don't mention how big your work place is - but could you offer to be recycling monitor (i.e. you collect up at least some of the recycling) if they replace the bins?
My company is a large call center with about 150 people in and out during the day I'd guess. All what they call "part time employees" who are in and out at different times and there are close to 250 who actually work for this office. I wouldn't really have a way to collect any of the recycling myself. I'm not allowed to stay after work to collect anything (you must leave within 5 minutes of the end of your shift) or anywhere to put it if I did come in 20 minutes early (as early as you're allowed to come in) as I can't have anything other then my purse,backpack and jacket at my desk. The building is quite big (about 15 floors maybe) but we only rent one floor and I'm not allowed to go to the floor they do take the recycling to. The janitor for the whole building does all this. I really wouldn't be allowed to for security reasons.
Older water fountains often contain all sorts of bad stuff. Many offices are switching to water purification systems because of this. So I don't think having a water purifier on the sink and people needing to fill a cup with that water should be an issue.
If you are on such tight regulations that one must leave within 5 minutes of ending a shift, its not clear just when people will have time to wash cups and such. The company isn't going to want to pay for people to do this on company time - they need to do it at the end of their shift.
I'm not saying these things to discourage you. I just think that you need to consider them when framing your request to HR.
My suggested letter:
I have noticed there is nowhere to recycle the high volume of beverage bottles and cans purchased in the kitchen. I, as well as others, would appreciate recycling bins to use. This would save the company money as well as be environmentally friendly.
I would also like to see the water fountain turned on. I believe this to be a necessity. Without it, people are drinking out of the sink, or wasting several styrofoam cups per shift. If this is not possible, please consider providing reusable cups.
I believe these changes would improve productivity, and save the company money, while making us more 'green'.
Signed (or not signed),
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