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According to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy, Australians produce 64 million tonnes of waste annually, recycling only 60% of it. The waste being produced is equivalent to the amount of 500 Sydney Harbour Bridges ending up in our landfills annually.
Reducing the amount of waste has proven to be difficult, as our population is continually growing. So what is the next best alternative? We need to transform our waste into something that can be used again. We need to become more sustainable.
Why do we need sustainable practices so badly?
The accumulation of waste has a huge negative impact on the natural environment. A lot of the landfill we put into our Earth will never biodegrade, meaning polystyrene will forever be in our ground and environment. Even the incineration of waste is harmful, with toxins being released into the air and polluting our atmosphere.
What are the different solutions for sustainable waste management?
Sustainable waste management is becoming more important than ever. Simple, everyday materials such as glass, cardboard, plastic, electronic components, batteries and construction materials can be transformed into new packaging, fuels or even compost.
Are we falling behind?
In other parts of the globe, sustainability has a much higher priority than here. Sweden boasts a reuse rate of 98%. In other parts of the world, such as San Francisco, it is illegal to use packaging made from non-biodegradable materials such as polystyrene. If we adopted a couple of these strategies, a world of difference could be made.
Stocking waste in landfills has a high financial and environmental cost for our society. There are many options to recycle everything we are using, and it doesn’t require that much effort. Just a little mindfulness from our community can make all the difference.
Doyle Bros is an Australian owned and operated waste manager that has been leading the way in providing responsible, sustainable and ethical waste management solutions across Sydney for nearly 30 years. If you would like to reduce your ecological footprint, contact us today!
Does Australia have a recycling crisis? Figures show that from 2014 to 2015, Australians only recycled 60 per cent of total collected waste. It is commonly believed that recycling means sorting your rubbish in to the right bin. However, that is only the first stage of the waste recycle management process.
At the beginning of this year China announced they were ceasing the transfer of Australia’s recyclable plastics to their shores, throwing the Australian Government into disarray.Read more
Many of us were educated on the importance of recycling from a young age, and there are endless reasons as to why it’s important from financial savings to protecting the environment. However, despite the best of intentions, many Sydney businesses still make many mistakes in their recycling efforts. The good news is that these mistakes can be easily rectified once you are aware of them! Below are 4 of the most common commercial recycling mistakes Sydneysiders make:
One of the most common mistakes Sydney businesses make when it comes to recycling is not separating their recycling waste correctly. Typically recycling works one of two ways, single stream or dual stream. Single stream is pretty self-explanatory, all recyclables can be stored together including glass, paper, cardboard, plastics and metal, while dual-stream requires the paper and cardboard to be kept separate from the others. Its important to know which method your waste disposal company requires to ensure you don’t spoil materials which could have been recycled.
Not Removing Lids from Plastic or Glass Bottles and Containers
Most plastic bottles are now recyclable which is great news for the environment however their lids are the enemy of recycling facilities in Australia and around the world. If they are left on, they can trap the liquid contents of the bottle which can cause contamination to paper and cardboard (see next point!). Plastic lids should be removed and disposed of in general waste. Always ensure glass and plastic bottles and containers are emptied and rinsed before placing them in your recycling bin.
Food and Drink Contamination
Another issue waste disposal companies like Doyle Bros face when it comes to processing your commercial recycling is food and drink contamination. While it seems like the easy option to leave the toppings which fell off your pizza or the last slice in the box, it can render the cardboard box unrecyclable. Ensure that all recyclables are cleaned and rinsed before placing them in to the recycling bin. This includes plastic containers which may have held food along with cardboard boxes and bags.
Putting Your Recyclables in Plastic Bags
Arguably the worst mistake Australians make when it comes to commercial recycling is placing the recyclable items in plastic bags and tying them. Soft plastic is a very difficult material to recycle for a start and contaminates the entire recycling stream. For safety reasons some recycling facilities cannot open tied bags meaning they may end up going straight to landfill. If you take one point away from this article, please stop putting your recyclables in plastic bags, straight into the recycling bins is perfect!
Here at Doyle Bros we have been meeting the waste disposal needs of businesses here in Sydney for over 20 years. Call us today for an environmentally-friendly waste disposal quote for your business!
For most Sydney businesses, when they think of going green, their attention usually turns to recycling first, and for good reason. Even in 2018 in a city as advanced as Sydney, there are still many commercial entities not stepping up to the mark when it comes to taking care of our environment as best we can. Being an extremely environmentally-aware commercial waste disposal company based here in Sydney, we compiled 5 tips for better recycling processes in your workplace below:
Start with the obvious
While there are many objects which can be recycled, it’s easier to start with the more well-known recyclable materials. Think paper, cans, glass and plastic at first followed by ink cartridges, light bulbs and electrical items like computers.
Invest in Good Recycling Bins
All offices inevitably use a lot of recyclable materials, however not all offices have designated bins to dispose of these materials. As you go through the process of introducing more robust recycling options to your office, ensure that staff are fully aware of these changes and that the new recycling options are fully visible.
Focus on the Bathrooms
Instead of using paper towels in bathrooms, consider installing hand dryers or even better, use hand towels if possible. Research bamboo or other types of organic paper if you must use paper towels.
Appoint a Recycling Co-Ordinator
It helps to appoint one person as a champion for recycling and overall sustainability within the office space. Consider an office manager or an employee who works in administration if they have capacity for this side project.
It may seem excessive but in a hot climate like we have here in Australia, why not consider leaving containers outside to collect rain water? This water can then be used to water all plants and greenery inside the office.
Encourage the Initiative from the Top
It’s extremely important that the recycling initiative is championed from the business owners or senior management. Their enthusiasm for the new recycling regime will create momentum for the rest of the workforce.
Run a Recycling Awareness Day or Talk
If adoption rates to the new recycling reform are low, consider running a recycling awareness day or presentation to highlight the importance of commercial recycling and sustainability. Why not also run small competitions and offer rewards to those who make the most effort to recycle in the workplace?
Arrange a ‘Swap Day’
A ‘Swap Day’ is a day where your employees can bring in old books, DVDs and games which they no longer use and trade them with each other. This has the dual benefit of encouraging reusing and recycling while also promoting staff morale and closer relationships in the workplace.
Above are 8 simple tips on how you can increase how well your office recycles. Here at Doyle Bros we have been meeting the waste disposal needs of businesses here in Sydney for over 20 years. Call us today for an environmentally-friendly waste disposal quote for your business!
Naturally, it’s inevitable that your business will produce waste. However, not all waste is created equal and the two most common ways to segregate your commercial waste are dry waste and wet waste. It’s very important from an environmental standpoint that everyone segregates their waste correctly. Below, we’ll discuss the differences between dry waste and wet waste and the benefits of segregating the two:
What is dry waste in your business?
Dry waste is typically defined as any waste which will not rot or disintegrate over time and has little or no moisture content. Dry waste can also be described as inorganic or non-biodegradable waste given its lack of food products.
Most dry waste is recyclable and below is a list of common dry waste items:
- Wood/Wooden Objects
- Paper & Cardboard
- Aluminium Foil
What is wet waste in your business?
Wet waste is generally considered anything that will decompose or decay over time. While dry waste is also called inorganic or non-biodegradable waste, wet waste is unsurprisingly referred to as organic or biodegradable waste. Restaurants and other food outlets will produce large amounts of wet waste given the moisture content of the ingredients used and food left over.
Examples of wet waste include:
- Oils & fats for cooking
- Wet building site waste
- Hazardous materials
- Wet factory waste
- Vehicle oils
What are the benefits of segregating your waste?
There are a wide range of disadvantages of not correctly segregating the waste which your business produces, ranging from environmental to economic. These include:
- When wet and dry waste meet in a landfill they produce harmful gases including methane. Methane is extremely toxic and is a huge contributor to climate change.
- Landfills are very much a finite resource and adding waste to landfill, because of poor segregation, which could be otherwise recycled or reused, will result in less landfill resources over time driving up the price of waste disposal.
- Incorrect segregation between wet and dry waste can cause spoilage of dry waste such as cardboard and paper. This results in not being able to reuse these otherwise easily-recycled items.
- Mixed dry and wet waste in landfills has been known to cause environmental issues such as crop failure, polluted water sources and localised explosions due to the toxic gas build-up.
Here at Doyle Bros we are extremely conscious of the negative impacts of improper waste disposal. For this reason, we segregate your commercial waste even further at our materials recovery facility here in Sydney. We recycle anything we possibly can and then create processed engineered fuel out of what remains. This fuel is an alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and gas and has a hugely positive impact on the environment. Less than 10% of all the waste which we collect goes to landfill. Call us today for a quote for Doyle Bros to safely dispose of your commercial waste here in Sydney!
Here in Sydney and right across Australia, despite the best efforts to raise awareness of issues such as climate change, we are becoming more wasteful. Businesses and individuals are producing more waste than ever before and our rate of rubbish production is growing faster than our population. Today, Australians produce over 50 million tonnes of waste per year, that’s more than 2 tonnes per person on average!
Disposing of this waste in Sydney’s landfills has a high cost for us as a society. These include pollution and gas emissions along with increased infrastructure expenses and expenses associated with the need to find replacement resources, and fast. By simply increasing recycling rates and reducing waste overall, Australians can save money and conserve natural resources while having a beneficial impact on the environment.
However, another option to reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfills is turning this waste into fuel. Here at Doyle Bros, this is an initiative we are very passionate about and something we have been doing for a number of years. Back in 2015, we were pleased to be awarded a grant from the NSW EPA trust as part of the ‘Waste Less, Recycle More’ initiative which was run by the NSW Government. With this grant, we upgraded our material recycling facility (MRF) here in Sydney to put in place processes which allow us to recycle and reuse over 90% of all waste material which we collect from our Sydney clients, both commercial and residential. With the remaining 10% which would previously have gone to landfill, we started the process of producing PEF (Processed Engineered Fuel).
So, what are the benefits of this? There are two core benefits of creating PEF from waste material which would otherwise go to landfill:
- Replacement for fossil fuels: Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are non-renewable energy sources which have formed from decaying plant and animal matter over millions of years. When fossil fuels are burnt they emit too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which causes climate change and rising global temperatures.
- Reduction in harmful landfill emissions: Landfill waste produces potent gases made up of methane and carbon dioxide. These gases have a severely detrimental effect on the environment and heavily promote climate change. Methane is the worst offender as it is considered about 25 times as harmful as carbon dioxide. On top of this, landfill gases can cause localised explosions and other hazards.
Here at Doyle Bros, we are a waste disposal company who cares deeply about the environment, and the work we do is all about limiting the negative impact waste disposal has on our planet. If you run a business in Sydney and would like to discuss environmentally-friendly commercial waste disposal options, please give us a call today for a no-obligation quote for your individual needs!
Do you know how much waste your workplace produces each week? Studies have shown that the average office of just 100 people produces about 20 bin bags full of waste every single week, which adds up to around 1,000 sacks full of waste every year! The obvious way to reduce this astronomical amount of waste is to recycle wherever possible. Below are 5 tips for recycling in your Sydney workplace:
Watch the Consumption of Paper
If much of your office waste consists of paper then you’re not alone. While many businesses are now encouraging staff to go digital wherever possible with some even banning paper altogether, it’s not always a realistic option. Tips to reduce how much paper is wasted include using both sides of paper for printing and ensuring you receive all bank statements, invoices etc in digital format and not paper copies.
Re-Use, Re-Use, Re-Use!
There are many things in a workplace environment which could easily be used many times over but are often discarded after a single use. Cardboard boxes are a prime example of this! Many office items are delivered in robust cardboard boxes which could be used for storage of items such as stationary or office equipment like cables etc. If there is no option to re-use it, try asking the supplier to take it with them or at the very least ensure it is recycled and not put in a general bin.
Invest in Solid Bins & Labelling
Much of the waste which is sent to landfill which could be recycled happens because of staff laziness. If you invest in some sturdy bins and label them correctly and place them in a convenient location in the workplace, this is likely to have a hugely positive impact on how well your employees approach recycling.
Remove Personal Bins
Once you have invested in good-quality bins for common areas and labelled them correctly for each type of recycling material, remove individual bins from under employees’ desks. Again, laziness will otherwise play a factor and waste paper, cardboard coffee cups and plastic lunch containers will all end up in the personal bins which are deemed general waste instead of the communal recycling bins.
Encourage Recycling of All Materials
While paper and cardboard seem the obvious thing to recycle, there are many pieces of waste thrown in general bins every day in offices which should be recycled. These include glass, light bulbs, toners, batteries, IT equipment, furniture etc. Even most food waste can be composted! It’s particularly important that office managers are informed of what can and can’t be recycled, as they will often be in charge of disposing of used equipment in the workplace.
These are just 5 tips on how you can increase how well your workplace recycles. Here at Doyle Bros we have been meeting the waste disposal needs of businesses here in Sydney for over 20 years. Call us today for an environmentally-friendly waste disposal quote for your business!