Waste management tips and tools

Concepts and terminology

  • Better Practice: is a term used in place of ‘best practice’ as a reminder that there is always more that can be done in reducing waste.
  • Zero Waste: this concept reflects the ultimate goal of no waste to going to landfill, that there is no ‘rubbish’, but only recoverable resources.

Specific tools

Waste management and recycling


  • NSW has released a comprehensive Better Practice Guidelines for Waste Management and Recycling in Commercial and Industrial Facilities that is most relevant at times of major fit out to address waste management issues.
  • Plant Ark’s Business Recycling site identify facilities and services to recycle around 90 products including computers, mobile phones, office furniture, even carpets and fluorescent lights.
  • Recycling Week, runs each November, is an opportunity to promote your existing workplace recycling systems, or host events like "file flings" or "mobile musters".
  • The NSW Bin Trim program provides a spreadsheet to do your own waste audit, plus fact sheets on the wide range of business materials that can be made into new products with new recycling technologies.
  • South Australia’s Zero Waste Program is a comprehensive resource with information on recycling services, case studies, signage and more.
  • The Victorian EPA has a collection of hints and tips for improving resources efficiency and Sustainability Victoria’s Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program includes waste and materials as well as energy; providing funding, audits, planning and recognition for medium sized business.
  • The WA Waste Authority has a range of resources and programs to help commercial enterprises reduce waste.


Food waste is an emerging area of attention that office tenants may not have considered. However, if your organisation has a café or catering service attached there could be large scope to reduce food waste.

  • The NSW program Love Food Haste Waste has produced a toolkit to help business donate surplus food and case studies for how businesses have cut food waste through planning.
  • Oz Harvest rescues excess food and delivers it to people in need.


Light globes

  • Fluorocycle is a national, government-backed scheme to reduce the toxic waste from mercury-containing lights.
  • Lamp Recyclers  also provide end-of-life recycling to mercury containing light globes, provides services to 12 local government areas in NSW - customers can buy stands for collection or pre-paid post boxes.


Batteries contain toxic chemicals including lead and mercury and should be kept out of landfill.

  • Battery World collect all household batteries and also lead acid batteries, at a fee of $8 per kilogram. 
  • Toxfree collects all household batteries and also lead acid batteries.


  • The national Mobile Muster collects and recycles mobile phone materials - providing free collection units, promotional material, support and pick up, and accepts all brands of mobile phones, including their batteries, chargers and accessories.
  • Aussie Recycling Program works with Australian charitable organisations to raise funds through mobile phone recycling collections - collection boxes and satchels and courier pick-up are available free of charge.
  • Phonecycle is a Melbourne based mobile phone recycling company for businesses. They offer free collection, assessment of the value of your phones and arrange payment to your business or a donation to your charity of choice.
  • They're Calling On You is the mobile phone recycling program from Taronga and and Western Taronga Plains Zoos, aiming to relieve the mineral mining pressure on gorilla habitat and raise money from refurbished handsets to support gorilla conservation in Central Africa.


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.


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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