How To Create a Waste-Free Workplace

Do you have a secret goal of creating a waste-free workplace? In realistic terms that is diverting up to 90% of waste from landfill.

work place bin signs

We've created a simple system. Simple, that is, when the following takes place:

  • the process is bitten into realistic small chunks;
  • when office policies are made;
  • when everybody in the office is encouraged to come on board;
  • when everyone's learning curves are accepted as being an individual process and;
  • when all involved are encouraged for their efforts, educated on how they can improve and not scolded if they get it wrong.

It's not just about education, but about changing mindsets. Is your workplace up for it?

Office Bin Systems:

  • create bin stations in strategic locations and NOT under each office desk. (e.g. place them near the exits and up against walls);
  • each bin station should consist of paper/card, landfill and compost bins;
  • ensure that the compost bins are lined with compostable bin liners to ensure the bins do not get food waste and liquids stuck to them;
  • ensure the paper/card bin is emptied in the allocated skip bin for this waste or in the kerbside recycling bin if there is no alternative;
  • emptying of the bins can be done by a staff member daily or by the office cleaners.

Kitchen Bin Systems:

  • create one bin station near the main eating area of the kitchen (if there is one);
  • each bin station should consist of a landfill, compost, recycling, refundables and soft plastics bins;
  • ensure the compost and refundables bins are lined with compostable bin liners, also to ensure that the waste and refundable cans and bottles can be easily transported to the recycling centre (usually by a staff member);
  • dispose of the recycling rubbish (rigid plastics) in the kerbside recycling bins and collect the soft plastics in a plastic bag for disposal in a Redcycle bin (found at Woolworth's and Coles) usually to be done by a staff member also;
  • dispose of the compost in a BiobiN ( if you are part of a large business or if it's a smaller service look at the BioPak or Greenmark Pack composting services.

Long Term Goals:

  • While recycling and soft plastics bins are a great idea for the kitchen initially, you want to be cultivating a culture where these waste products are taken home and ultimately not used at all. As reusable products, when used repetitively and appropriately, are the most sustainable of all and can easily replace all plastic packaging.
  • Create in a centrally located place in the office small recycling bins for the following: ink cartridges, batteries and e-waste. Ink cartridges can be sent to Planet Ark for recycling, batteries can go to Battery World or your local library; and E-waste can go to Bunnings.

For a range of downloadable bin signs that are consistent and appropriate for the workplace visit our How To Guide on Creating a Waste-Free Workplace here and/or you can also be sent physical laminated bin signs here.

For downloadable files to make waste management a sustainable part of your next event click here. It includes a How-To Guide on making events and fetes waste free also.

For a How-To Guide on how to make your children's schoolyard waste free, click here.