SA POWER NETWORK’ STRATEGIC RESPONSE TO A ‘SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE’

Rolling out a waste reduction program in an organisation the size of SA Power Network is a huge and complex task. The operator of South Australia’s electricity distribution network with responsibility for thousands of kilometres of powerlines, dozens of depots and offices, and hundreds of substationsfound the help it needed in Zero Waste SA and industry suppliers such as Source Separation Systems.

“We needed major cultural change, and joining the Resource Efficiency Assistance Program has provided a platform with the tools and strategies to support that process,” says Environmental Sustainability Project Officer Allison Purnell-Sullivan. “The dispersed nature of our business with so many stakeholders and work units – all with different needs – means effective resource recovery is amonumental challenge.”

Although SA Power Network recycles tonnes of scrap metal, street lights and transformer oil, the waste and recycling improvement review clearly showed the organisation was not performing well on the office waste front – only recycling about 8% of the waste generated. Source Separation System’s MultiSort bin system is being rolled out to all manned sites, with the first 3 sites completed in recent months. SA Power Network and cleaning staff were briefed on the system and the response has been very positive. Results have been very encouraging, with about 74% of waste generated now being recycled.

“We needed a simple system that was easy to use but also smart-looking, as we will be installing in our corporate head office in coming weeks.” said Allison. “I also liked the flexibility of the system – I have been able to try different types of lids for different locations, and have put in additional co-mingled recycling bins for things like social club collections.”

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