By Mark Slimmer, Director, Village Café, 1/138 Collins Avenue, Edge Hill
Education: If you haven’t already got an understanding on the different waste streams and what can be recycled, start by researching information on the subject. You can read online articles about it to get more informed. Then to find out what can be recycled in Cairns it is perhaps easiest to visit the Cairns Regional Council website https://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/water-waste-roads/waste. You can book to go on a tour of the Waste Recovery centre where you can see first hand how the recycled waste is sorted. Start including your staff in the process to get them involved and participating in the early stages of your recycling implementation.
Preparation: Next, look at all the types of waste your business produces and decide what you want to recycle. Look at your current waste removal arrangements and how you can modify these to include recycling (be sure to check if existing service agreements allow for revision within a contracted period). Remember, there are different waste removal operators so be sure to assess your options.
Implementation: Assess the type of bins you want to use to separate your waste internally, where they will be located, and how often they will be emptied into your recycle pick-up bins. You can choose from a myriad of bin types so consider the expected volume of each waste stream and whether colour coding or just labels will do. Brief your staff on the implementation, educate them on what can and can’t be put in the bins, and stress the importance of diligence when separating waste. Nominate a staff member to monitor the effectiveness of your waste separation. Remember the old saying “if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well”. In the case of recycling, if a waste stream is contaminated it may simply be sent to landfill, which makes the effort wasted.