Waste management

As the generators of waste in an office building, occupants have a critical role to play in the quest to reduce, reuse, recycle.

While not the biggest impact in terms of weight, coffee cups can take up a lot of space and volume in office bins. They are one of the most accessible and frequent decision points for a large number of office staff and our society more generally, with three billion takeaway coffee cups used in Australia every year.

Choose.Reuse. is a behaviour change toolkit for one of the most visible problem waste items: disposable coffee cups. It contains a suite of communications and tracking materials which any business can use within its office as part of a campaign to encourage staff to take reusable cups when buying coffee. It’s designed to make wasteful takeaway coffee cups a last-resort option.

Find out more about the Choose.Reuse. campaign here.

We also have a wide range of resources to help your workplace reduce its waste and save money such as the CitySwitch Guide to Office Waste and the CitySwitch Waste Assessment Tool which are listed as Key Elements below.

Key Elements

Waste management overview

Any comprehensive sustainability action plan must address waste management.

Waste management tips and tools

Waste management tips and tools

There is a lot that offices can do to reduce waste and recycle office supplies, plus many forms of assistance in all Australian states.

Fifth Estate ebook: Office Waste

Fifth Estate ebook: Office Waste

This ebook is a guide to the best thinking and resources around waste.

Building the case for better waste outcomes

Building the case for better waste outcomes

This webinar will improve your understanding of waste and provide tips for a successful waste management plan.

CitySwitch Guide to Office Waste

CitySwitch Guide to Office Waste

Establish the right recycling and waste management system for your workplace with this CitySwitch tool.

Waste signage for your workplace

Here's a suite of signage to help your workplace put materials in the correct bin.

CitySwitch Waste Assessment Tool

CitySwitch Waste Assessment Tool

Want to know the waste generation and recycling rates for your office? Use our CitySwitch waste assessment tool.

Related Resources

Waste signage for your workplace

Here's a suite of signage to help your workplace put materials in the correct bin.

Top tips for working paper free

Hear from one City of Sydney green champion about how she approached the challenge of going paper-free in the office including useful apps and other resources.

E-Waste recycling

Storage King are working with MobileMuster and ECOACTIV Product Recovery Programs to help collect and recycle unwanted electronics, computer equipment and mobile phones. Businesses can buy an e-waste recycling box for $3.50 from Storage King and return it for recycling or contact them for collection of larger quantities.

Best practice waste & recycling contracts for business

Get a best practice waste and recycling contract underway with the help of this Sustainability Victoria guide. This resource has been created to help small to medium sized businesses navigate the waste contract procurement process and to get the most efficient and cost effective service.

Recycling Week

Recycling Week happens in November, promoted by Planet Ark, and enables positive recycling actions by councils, schools, workplaces and individuals. See how to get involved.

Saving water

Making water savings improves green office performance and can mean energy savings as well.

FluoroCycle

Lamp recycling can help reduce the amount of mercury being sent to landfill. FluoroCycle is a voluntary product stewardship scheme that seeks to increase the national recycling rate of waste mercury-containing lamps.

USA Sustainable Procurement Policies

A collection of ten real Sustainable Procurement Policies from USA state administrations, complied by California's Buy Recycled program. 

Zero Waste SA

Zero Waste SA is encouraging South Australian business and industries to adopt sustainable practices. Their Program Advisers partner with leading environmental consultancies to cover waste, water, energy and carbon materials, plant and equipment. Organisations can apply for funding to access various specialist services.

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Case Studies

Case study: iehealth

The following case study with CitySwitch signatory Inner East Community Health (iehealth) utilises both the CitySwitch waste assessment tool and an in-depth waste audit then compares the results. iehealth is a comprehensive charitable primary healthcare provider in inner Melbourne aiming to improve their waste practices.

Case Study: ACORPP

Case Study: ACORPP

ACORPP involved staff in selecting a new office and save over a thousand dollars a year in electricity by choosing a space with  natural light, providing laptops, and timers on boardroom air conditioning. ACORPP also chose furniture and fitout materials for certified low environmental impact, recycled content and recyclability.

Case study: AMP Capital

Case study: AMP Capital

AMP Capital's behaviour change competition saw staff across seven floors of their Sydney office battle it out to reduce energy and increase recycling. The 'Floor Wars' campaign resulted in energy savings of 15 per cent and supported the roll-out of lighting upgrades.

Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport

Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport

Long-time Signatory, the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure, has achieved a number of operational gains including a 33 per cent reduction in energy use. With the help of the CitySwitch RMIT student program, resource audits have provided useful insights into staff 'switch-off' behaviour, waste avoidance tactics and office equipment procurement to achieve ongoing environmental and economic savings.

Case Study: GlasgowHart

Case Study: GlasgowHart

Simple energy-saving measures have created a sustainable workplace for GlasgowHart, a Sydney firm who deliver intelligent new workspaces for a range of clients. Their efforts helped them achieve a 5 star NABERS Energy rating and influence their clients in the process.

Case Study: SA Dept for Families & Communities

Case Study: SA Dept for Families & Communities

A 'Staff Greening Program' helped SA's Department for Families & Communities meet ambitious sustainability targets and reduce operating costs by around $552,000. Other measures included lighting upgrades, zero waste to landfill and the purchase of electric hybrid vehicles. 

Case Study: Norton Rose

Case Study: Norton Rose

The Sydney tenancy of international legal practice Norton Rose, was able to save around $42,000 per annum
through technical upgrades and staff engagement. An internal sustainability guide, personal footprint reporting and move away from paper based filing, was key to their success.

Case Study: Synergy

Case Study: Synergy

Synergy, Western Australia's largest energy retailer, used an office refit to address energy efficiency and embrace sustainable principles. They undertook low-cost lighting modifications, consolidated office equipment and worked hard to engage staff in their quest to reduce energy.

Case Study: City of Port Phillip

Case Study: City of Port Phillip

As part of their 'Toward Zero' strategy, City of Port Phillip conducted energy audits across their 250 building property portfolio. By implementing an impressive retrofit program across their portfolio and purchasing 25 per cent GreenPower, they reduced total emissions by 36 per cent.

Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.