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Linear pathways that promote a “buy, use and throw out” culture were on the chopping block at the 2019 Waste Expo as panellists discussed moving forward with a circular economy approach.
A year on from the commencement of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, the number of organisations committing to improving the circular economy if plastics has reached 400.
A significant volume of leather off-cuts from shoes is being sent to landfill, when it could be recycled.
In a bid to divert this material from landfill, the MRA Bin Trim team and Modern Shoes worked together, as part of the third round of the NSW government’s Bin Trim program, to find a new home for these valuable off-cuts.
MRA’s experience with the Bin Trim program enabled the company to identify a suitable recycler, provide samples to test the recyclability of the product and ultimately provide a cheap, sustainable recycling solution for the business.
Prior to the assessment, Modern Shoes sent about 54 tonnes of various material to landfill, per annum. Leather off-cuts was the largest component by weight (55 per cent), followed by plastic (26 per cent).
With assistance from the Bin Trim program, Modern Shoes has managed to:
– Divert 100 per cent of their leather waste from landfill;
– Increase their overall recycling rate from 32 per cent to 88 per cent and;
– Reduce their waste disposal costs by a minimum of $1,800 per month, saving $21,600 per year.
Bin Trim is designed to provide businesses with long-term waste management solutions. The program funds Bin Trim assessors to provide NSW businesses with a free waste assessment and tailored action plan through a simple 5-step program:
1. An assessor will visit your business site and register the business for the Bin Trim program.
2. The assessor will review your business waste and determine how much more your business can recycle.
3. A tailored waste reduction action plan will be provided to you along with an assessment for equipment rebate eligibility.
4. The assessor will provide practical support and advice to help you put your plan into action. This could include employee education or new recycling services.
5. The assessor will conduct a second waste assessment to measure progress.
Free assessments and rebates:
Businesses with fewer than 400 employees are eligible to participate in Bin Trim. 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 up to 50 per cent of the cost of recycling equipment.
Bin Trim, funded through the waste levy, is part of the NSW government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative. An $802 million funding program for business recycling, organics collections, market development, managing problem wastes, new waste infrastructure, local councils and programs to tackle illegal dumping and litter.
This story was contributed by James Smith from MRA Consulting Group.
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