The NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Bin Trim initiative is providing free waste assessments to help businesses reduce waste and increase recycling.
Small and medium businesses are a major part of Australia’s economy, accounting for 97.4 percent of all businesses, and are believed to be one of the major contributors to the 6.5 million tonnes of business waste going to landfill every year.
In NSW alone, almost 2 million tonnes of commercial waste is sent to landfill every year and on average, 70 percent of these materials could be avoided, recycled or reused.
The EPA is encouraging these businesses to take advantage of Australia’s largest business recycling program Bin Trim, designed to set businesses up for long-term waste management solutions.
Since the launch in 2014, the program has engaged over 22,000 businesses and diverted over 70,000 tonnes of waste from landfill – 1.25 times the equivalent weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
NSW EPA acting director resource recovery, Amanda Kane, said that the EPA was making it easy for businesses to optimise their waste and introduce recycling management systems. “We encourage businesses to get in touch for a free assessment,” says Kane.
“Through free Bin Trim assessments owners and employees will be provided with simple changes they can make. The biggest surprise to many business owners is the possible cost savings from reducing waste collection as well as a boost in employee engagement,” Kane adds.
The program funds Bin Trim assessors to provide NSW businesses with a free waste assessment and tailored action plan through a simple five-step program:
- An assessor will visit a site and register the business for the Bin Trim program.
- The assessor will review business waste and show just how much could be recycled.
- A tailored waste reduction action plan will be provided along with an assessment for eligibility of an equipment rebate.
- The assessor will provide practical support and advice to help businesses put their plan into action.
- The assessor will conduct a second waste assessment to measure progress.
Case study: Escarpment Group Hotel
One organisation proving unnecessary waste doesn’t have to end up in landfill is Escarpment Group – a group of hotels located in the NSW Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley regions. A food macerator was installed at each of Escarpment’s three Blue Mountains hotels. Now the hotel’s food waste is transformed into recyclable pulp, which is then used to produce organic fertiliser.
Escarpment Group chief engineer Peter Redman says the organisation has been able to divert more than 1,600 wheelie bins of food waste from landfill. “The Bin Trim Program dramatically reduced our waste, and enabled our kitchen organic food waste to be diverted from the landfill general waste stream for use in bio fuels and compost material.
“Additionally, we’ve received over $127,000 in Bin Trim rebates for recycling equipment. We’ve also seen improvements across our staff from an engagement perspective and a renewed motivation to keep hitting our sustainability goals,” Redman says.
Free assessments and rebates
Businesses are eligible to participate in Bin Trim if the business has fewer than 400 employees. In addition, a maximum of five sites from one company can be assessed. Businesses may also be eligible for a rebate of between $1,000 and $50,000 to cover 50 percent of the cost of recycling equipment.
Find your Bin Trim assessor or contact the EPA on 131 555 or email [email protected] to register your interest.
Image credit: NSW EPA