As part of its journey towards zero waste to landfill, Officeworks set a target to recycle at least 85 per cent of all operational waste generated across stores, distribution centres and support centres. Central to achieving the target was ensuring all team members understood the importance of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and ensuring recyclable materials were recovered through the correct waste streams. To support this, a waste and recycling workshop was developed in partnership with Officeworks’ waste provider, Cleanaway, based on the principles of the waste hierarchy: reduce, re-use and recycle.
Ahead of an offsite workshop, general waste bins from the participating team members’ stores were delivered to a Cleanaway facility. On arrival, team members conducted a waste audit of their store’s bin which involved segregating recyclable materials from non-recyclable materials. The results demonstrated that although some stores were already recycling 80 per cent of their waste, a further 46 per cent of their general waste bin could have been recycled.
Following the audit, team members reflected on why certain waste may have ended up in the wrong bin and what corrective actions could be implemented to address it. Examples included better education of cleaners and team members, ensuring that bins are in appropriate locations in store and combatting illegal dumping.
The results demonstrated that participation in the workshop and understanding the opportunity, team members were able to drive significant improvements at their stores with the Western Australian region demonstrating the greatest improvement lifting recycling rates from 73 per cent in July 2018 to 86 per cent in June 2019.
In addition, Officeworks assists customers to dispose responsibly of unwanted technology items for free at dedicated in store recycling collection points, enabling the recovery of valuable materials for reuse.