Case Study – Waste and Recycling Case Study

The Project

We started with an office that considered themselves to be ‘pretty good’ with recycling and waste. They knew that they could do much better though and also wanted to be able to measure the progress and report on their actual waste going to landfill each year.

Overview

In keeping with the government’s New Zealand Waste Strategy, we understand the importance of reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. With many corporate companies wanting to do better but not knowing how, we have the solutions to make it easy for everyone involved.

The Plan

We developed a plan that would ensure the change was both sustainable and
supported by staff:

1. Waste Audit

Carry out a waste audit to identify what types of waste and where they are going.

2. Communication

Advise staff of changes that will be made, how it will impact on them and what results we are trying to achieve.

3. Implementation

Install new systems.

4. Waste Audit

Carry out waste audit 1 month after implementation to measure results.

The Solution

The solution needs to be smart, easy to use and needs to look good in a corporate environment. We want people to like using the recycling bins, and we want it to be easy to do. We use the Method Office Recycling Stations and our client loves them. With stations at convenient locations around the open-plan office, recycling is easy.

We also removed all of the desk bins from the office which resulted in a drastic improvement in the correct waste stream being used. The main cause of paper going to landfill is having a bin by each desk. By removing these bins, people have to sort their waste into the appropriate bin.

The Result

In comparing the two waste audits, we could see a drastic reduction in the waste to landfill. We found a 73% reduction in waste to landfill. Now the client has a new benchmark to work from, we can carry out quarterly waste audits to measure and improve further. Waste audits also show us if there are any common items that are being disposed of such as paper coffee cups, or office paper which we can then develop a plan to reduce.

Overall, we had a 60% increase in commingle recycling, an 80% increase in paper recycling and a 53% increase in organic waste. This meant that 73% of waste was diverted from landfill. By engaging with staff and working with them throughout the process, we have everyone on board and wanting to make a difference. We have found that this is the best way to achieve results.