A trick to recycling for small businesses

11
Nov
2009

When we first opened, we were dumbfounded by our inability to recycle waste other than glass and paper. As a business, your local council does not get involved in your waste management. Therefore, you require a commercial waste removalist. As it is not cost effective for waste removal companies to recycle anything other than paper and glass, they won’t do it.
Therefore, any tin and plastic does not get recycled – it just goes to land fill! I spoke to the council and they were sympathetic but could offer little help. The answer was found by the sales rep from URM (the waste removal company we use). URM happens to be contracted to do the City of Sydney’s waste removal. So, they have a truck in the area every Wednesday night/Thursday morning doing the domestic recycling anyway so they just charge us a commercial rate to pick up ours at the same time eliminating the issue of cost inefficiency!
I hope this helps any other businesses facing the same problems.
Our next hurdles are how to put our organic waste to use rather than sending it to landfill and what to do with the polystyrene that the fruit and veg deliveries often come in. Any ideas are welcome!

9 Comments
  1. If enough of your locals have compost heaps (like we do) then perhaps each neighbour could take one day of green waste/week each and compost it, we’d be happy to… Do the delivery companies take back the polystyrene boxes to reuse?
    ps. Hi! Nice website guys!

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    • It would definitely be cool to get all the neighbours on board, I’m not sure if they’ve all got quite the consciences you cats sport though. Good call on giving back the polystyrene, we do try to do that where feasible, but my suspician is that it tends to end up in landfill anyway.

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  2. I get organic groceries delivered and they often run out of polystyrene boxes. Sometimes they might end up as landfill but they do have a pretty good system recycling their boxes with customers (they charge a deposit to try and ensure they come back). They might be interested in picking up your boxes to use for their deliveries. I know they hate having to buy new ones for environmental reasons.

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    • Nice one Ella, thanks! Who dliveries your groceries for you? I’ll give them a buzz.

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  3. Hi Karl,
    I run a vegetarian catering business in Melbourne,I always use KS recycling who provide me with a bin for food scraps and empty as needed. There must surely be a Sydney equivalent.
    How about community gardens needing compost. Turns out a close friend of mine may be starting work at Yullis, he sent me the link, only to discover its all veggie, when I visit him, I know where I am eating, menu looks awesome. Cheers Cathy

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    • Thanks heaps Cathy, have kinda been looking into this but haven’t had alot of luck. Am going to try to work out if we can compost it ourselves… Maybe I just haven’t been looking in the right places!

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  4. Those polystyrene boxes would be excellent to send to the community garden for them to raise seedlings in. They do make great vege patches on balconies as well!

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    • Thanks Amanda! Absolutely, we have actually been using them for our roof top garden for exactly that purpose!

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  5. Hi guys, fantastic to hear you have taken the initiative to recycle using the residential waste service. I like to hear businesses I support are thinking about these things. I am trying to encourage others to do the same, and also find a way to tackle food waste. Any chance I could chat to you guys briefly about it?

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