Trim Your Bin

by Adam Hogan

Waste and resource recovery systems attract more customers and increase staff morale, while providing environmental benefits and significant cost savings. The NSW Environmental Protection Authority Bin Trim program has been providing free waste and recycling assessments for businesses with the aim of increasing recycling and reducing waste going to landfill. Bin Trim Assessors can produce tailored action plans for your business, including implementation and follow-up.

Materials such as polystyrene, glass, metals, organics (food and garden), paper, cardboard, wood and plastics that businesses are currently paying to be transported to landfill, are the targets. In addition to the free assessments, the Bin Trim program provides rebates up to $50,000 for up to 50% of the purchase price of recycling equipment. Recycling equipment includes balers, compactors, glass crushing machines, commercial worm farms, composters , digesters, dehydrators, shredders, polystyrene compaction equipment and recycling bins.

Left to right: Commercial worm farms and cardboard baler/compactor

Dapto Leagues Club is a local case study that has benefitted from the Bin Trim program. The results were impressive. The Club found that the initial investment to buy a cardboard compactor and new recycling service would pay for itself in 3.6 years and save $1924 per year. This meant that the general waste bin is no longer as full and weekly collections have been reduced from six to five. This has saved a further $4680 a year and reduced waste to landfill by 17 per cent. Recycling glass and diverting food waste has also eliminated excess weight charges, saving an additional $52 a day and helped to offset the cost of the commingled recycling collection service.

Employee engagement is obviously critical to the success of any program. A suggestion is to undertake a four-week trial of the waste recovery system changes and appoint a sustainability team to further engage staff. The program is open to any NSW business with less than 400 employees. Find your Bin Trim assessor or contact the EPA on 131 555 or email to register your interest.

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