September 20, 2022
Why Are Centralised Bin Stations Better?
It is now common practice for organisations to move to ‘best practice’ centralised recycling solutions.
Indeed, across industries, and even throughout entire business precincts such as Barangaroo and Docklands, desk bins are a thing of the past as employees have had to abandon their under-desk containers and instead place their waste into shared infrastructure.
The business case for centralised station is compelling, both from a sustainability and commercial perspective. Whether it’s a change of process you are managing, or a trend you are looking to better understand, the following list of benefits are sure to have you convinced!
The Benefits of Centralised Bin Stations
- Most importantly, well designed centralised recycling stations, which require individuals to recycle in public view alongside their peers, result in a higher amount of recycling, and less contamination. People are more likely to do the right thing when their team can see, and when they feel they are contributing towards the team effort. In fact, often consultants find their recycling rates in offices relying on the old individua under-desk bins is as low as 12%. This is often linked to the fact that they are hidden and not usually designed for multiple streams. Replace these bins with visible centralised stations and you can deliver a new step in change, in terms of reducing Landfill!
- Separating waste streams into various recycling streams, dramatically improves the value of the recyclables, and so there is a much higher chance that these single waste streams will be recycled. (E.g. clean paper is worth much more as a resource, than comingled paper mixed with cans and bottles). Centralised Bin Stations provide organisations the flexibility to add additional streams as required and ensure that the station is appropriate for the volume collected. While most organisations start a recycling program with Recycling and Landfill, many organisations are now adding Organics, Soft Plastics, E-Waste and 10C Refundable items to further minimise their Landfill stream.
- Landfill levies continue to increase across Australia, which means every time your landfill is carried over a weigh bridge, you pay an additional tax to have it buried. Reducing your landfill by instead recovering valuable resources by either recycling or composting means you are not subject to the same waste levies and so the cost of waste management should reduce. Of course, check with your waste contractor to understand how your individual collection contract works.
- Centralised Waste Stations are much more efficient for Facilities Managers and Cleaners to access, empty and clean saving valuable time for other cleaning functions. Rather than walking desk to desk to collect and sort waste, centralised stations are already consolidated, so with effective manual handing tools, recyclables can be easily collected. Keeping this waste separated is key, however using Coloured Liners can assist to differentiate streams until they are decanted from liners in a dock area.
- The purchase of liners for individual desk bins, is uncommon, so whilst that may not be a cost saving, it does mean that under-desk bins need to be intermittently washed as they become dirty and smelly. This requirement is eliminated as they are removed.
Ergonomics and Teaming
- We all have a vocal WHS colleague who demands everyone get up and stretch, as they remind the team that 34% of all lost workday injuries comes from poor ergonomics. A centralised bin station is a great way to get people up and moving.
- Similarly having people congregate at communal points in the office, even if only to throw away their paper, encourages interaction with their colleagues, a dynamic which has been shown to improve teaming, creativity and employee’s engagement with their team.
Reputation and Product Stewardship
- Sustainable work practices should be celebrated not hidden!
- Studies show that organisations who are committed to environmental practices tend to have more loyal and more engaged customers and employees. As such, having effective recycling infrastructure front and centre in communal spaces is a great way to promote your company’s commitment to sustainability.
- Similarly, providing employees and customers an opportunity to recycle their waste associated with your company is a powerful way to demonstrate your commitment to product stewardship. Selecting units which can be customised such as the Recycling Wall Hub means you can customise streams, such as glasses and x-rays for a medical centre, or stationery and e-waste for an office supplier. With a little research on donation programs for items such as glasses and recycling points, the list of materials which can be recovered is extensive.