Facilities Managers are increasingly looking for strategies to improve sustainability and ‘green’ their buildings. Source separation of waste and subsequent recycling is proving a key component of this trend, given the relative ease of implementation, cost effectiveness and tangible benefits.

The cost benefits of recycling can be significant. General waste is diverted from landfill which attracts substantial and increasing levy costs, to recycling facilities which will even pay for some clean waste streams. This can offset the overall cost of collection and disposal significantly. However increasingly, it is the tenants demand for greener solutions which are driving these changes.

The ability to achieve green branding is important for corporate tenants, and so facilities managers. Corporations in their quest to differentiate themselves in the market,  attract investors, and attract and retain human talent, are increasingly looking for ways to boost their sustainability, and ensuring they are leasing green buildings is an important component of this. Facilities Managers who offer greener properties can attract better client and gain a premium return.

Facilities managers can optimise their recycling to achieve cost-effective and streamlined processes through the implementation of centralised purpose-built collection systems. Utilising purpose built systems, rather than standard plastic containers, within centralised points optimises the recycling content and significantly reduces contamination. As a result, not only are internal cleaning and waste collection costs reduced through the centralised model, the increased yield of high value recycling content such as clean paper and recycling significantly reduces collection costs, which is increasingly relevant as the cost associated with landfill disposal levies continues to increase.

Traditionally the implementation of recycling within office environments was often achieved through the replacement of deskside general waste bins with recycling solutions. However this approach was cost prohibitive given the volume of receptacles required and the additional labour with cleaners’ requirements to empty bins near doubling.

Best Practice recycling principles include the implementation of centralised purpose-built collection systems.

  • Centralised waste and recycling stations are established throughout the office environment. Each station needs to be tailored to the specific waste streams and volumes in that location. (E.g. paper and general next to the photocopier)
  • Recycling receptacles must be specifically designed to be efficient and convenient. Recycling rates improve and contamination decreases significantly when receptacles
    • meet Australian Standards colours to mirror staff’s waste streams at home,
    • feature specifically designed labels, promotional material, and bin apertures (openings) or pedal bins which work to encourage the user to select an option, rather than contaminate the nearest bin.
  • Existing waste receptacles, including deskside bins are removed and replaced with communal centralised stations.

Implementing an effective recycling strategy can be achieved with a few basic steps.

  1. Conduct an initial audit. It’s essential to know the volume of each waste stream.
  2. Discuss your waste needs with your collection company to ensure they provide the collection services you require. If not, shop around for specific collection companies such as those who specialise in the waste streams which are predominant in your location, such as printer cartridges, batteries or plastics etc.
  3. Talk to an industry expert such as Source Separation Systems and purchase a made for purpose solution which meets Australian Standard colours and feature tailored apertures or pedal mechanisms. This will significantly increase you recycling yield and ensure you achieve clean streams.

Our professional team can assist with all aspects of such a program. Just give us a call today and we can come to you to discuss.

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