Retail waste management: the Australian retail sector has gone through some tough years with the global financial crisis and reduced consumer sentiment as well as the increase in ordering online through companies like Amazon.

However, retail and shopping is still the backbone of the economy and with the diverse range of good sold and shops – it thankfully will always remain so. In this short blog we cover some of the key facts about retail outlets (or shops in plain English!) and their waste streams – and of course how to reduce your costs, boost recycling and get flexible services into the bargain.


Retail waste management – you should be recycling most of your waste to reduce costs


The NSW EPA has produced a useful fact sheet on retail waste management – you can find the document here. Key points from the document include:


“Sort through the contents of a typical waste bin in a retail store and you will find that 94 per cent is filled with packaging materials like paper, cardboard and plastic (polystyrene packaging), almost all of which can be recycled”


“By putting this huge volume of material in the correct recycling bins, your business could reduce its waste collection charges and save money. You can also recycle the smaller amounts of metal and left over food in your bins, perhaps sharing recycling containers with nearby businesses.”


“Research by the Department has shown that each full-time employee in a retail outlet in New South Wales generates between 0.7 and 4.4kg of waste per day . You may be able to reduce your waste by 90 per cent, not only benefiting your business but also the environment.”


The NSW EPA also provides indicate average waste compositions for retail waste disposal (general solid waste) – obviously this will vary depending on business type:


– Paper and Cardboard – 48%

– Plastic – 46%

– Metals – 1%

– Food waste – 2%

– Other – 3%


From this breakdown – we can see that with very little effort an average retail shop could recycle c. 90% plus of its waste. The vast majority produced is recyclable materials and implementing a smart recycling program can be cost effective and reduce disposal costs.


After implementation of a recycling plan – the amounts of waste going to landfill will be greatly reduced and general waste reduction will result in a cost decrease.


Whether you are in a shopping centre or a high street store – recycling will cut costs, reduce your carbon footprint and help you appeal to new customers.


How Waster can help you reduce your spend, increase recycling and say good bye to lock in contracts


Waster offers all recycling and waste services on flexible 30 day agreements to small and medium business customers throughout Australia. You do not need to sign a long term, restrictive contract and can enjoy the freedom of flexibility alongside low prices and first rate customer service. You can also find out about waste management in pubs and clubs as well as waste services in hotels and motels.


You can check out our services and costs in our online waste shop by pressing the blue button below:


Conclusion on retail waste management:


A retail store can aim to recycle the vast majority of waste produced – and can hit 80-90% recycling.


If you have large amounts of cardboard waste – recycling can even provide rebates if the quantity is large enough.


At – we encourage companies to also use their recycling performance for marketing purposes and especially in retail waste management where customers have lots of choice on where they spend their dollars!


Check out our blog on waste management fees.