Australians produced 64 million tonnes, or 2.7 tonnes per person, of waste in 2014–151. With a projected population of 40 million people in 2050 that would rise to over 100 million tonnes. Recognising our need to work with our tenant customers to address this issue in our communities, we set ourselves a 70% average waste diversion from landfill target for our office and retail assets by 2025, in line with Green Star best practice.
To help us achieve this target the retail sector has partnered with Veolia, our waste contractor, and developed a customised waste management strategy across Charter Hall’s retail assets to increase diversion of materials from landfill while maintaining cost efficient waste management operations. In February 2017, we piloted the approach with the Bateau Bay Hub, which included a mix of small and larger centres at Bateau Bay, Morisset and Rutherford.
This pilot involved site visits to the three centres to identify opportunities to implement best practice, separate additional waste streams, report on success and educate and engage our customers.
Outcomes of the pilot resulted in:
- Revised dock layout for more efficient waste operations and improved painting and signage inside the centre and in external waste areas
- Retrofitting food court bins to provide dual stream bins
- Engagement with our customers to identify additional waste stream opportunities, which included the implementation of soft plastics (LDPE), coffee grounds and organic waste stream recovery
- Discussions with our tenant customers also identified a range of other recycling initiatives where food was donated to charities (such as Secondbite) or to local farmers
- Engagement with cleaning contractors on managing food court commingle bins and dock cleanliness and upkeep guidance
In June 2017, the Retail Waste management strategy was rolled out across 28 shopping centres (mainly across NSW and WA), with the remaining 24 shopping centres (in VIC, ACT, SA and QLD) to follow later in 2018.
A detailed site assessment was conducted at each shopping centre by the Veolia Sustainability team and a custom waste management plan was developed for each site. The strategy was also cognisant that many of our centres are in regional areas and there are limitations in the waste stream recycling available. In the first six months of the strategy rollout, there has been a 4% increase in diversion and savings of 303.26 CO2 tonnes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in the participating centres. This is the equivalent of planting 1,132 trees, or removing 67 cars from the road each year.
“Comingled waste is improving as our tenants become more aware of what they can recycle.”
The best waste diversion outcomes, to date, have occurred in the Central West, NSW hub; with Mudgee Square, which previously had no waste diversion, achieving 29% diversion, Dubbo Square increasing from 34% diversion to 44% diversion and Orange Central increasing from 34% diversion to 36% diversion. These improvements arose from engagement with our tenant customers and the introduction of mixed recycled and organic waste streams. While the introduction of soft plastic removal was a new concept for our regional contractors, the diversion of organics has been so successful that we have had to increase the size of organic bins and increased servicing by our contractors.
We will continue to work with our waste contractors and customers to achieve our target of 70% waste diversion by 2025.
- National Waste Report 2016 Department of the Environment and Energy and Blue Environment Pty Ltd.