A simple waste management plan for a small business in 2024 πŸ“„: Waster has been in operation now for roughly 3 years. And, we have learned an awful lot in that period of time. We talk to small and medium customers every day; some who are brand new to business (or even just thinking about opening a business) – and others much more experienced. We will write a future blog on tips and learnings from starting a new business. But, in the meantime, we will first cover what we have learned from customers.

In today’s blog, we want to cover some of the basics you should keep in mind when formulating a simple waste management plan for a small business. Small business waste removal is not very different from that of a larger company in many ways. After all, the rubbish and recycling are collected by the same garbage truck! However, as a small business, it is smart to have a simpleΒ waste management plan for a small business that is suitable for your needs and realistic.

>Download Now:Β Free PDF Business Owners Guide To General Waste Bin Services


A little bit about how Waster can help your small business

As an innovative Australian waste management company, Waster is a real alternative in bin collection for small business, as we offer flexible 30-day agreements and no hidden prices. Check out our prices and services in our online waste shop now:



First, what is waste management?

There is an old saying in medicine that prevention is better than cure. Of course, this saying makes sense intuitively and we can extrapolate it to many varying fields. In medicine, prevention may cover topics such as eating a healthy diet, taking exercise etc. Then in waste management, the very name of the industry raises questions.

Waste management generally assumes the waste has already been produced and that a solution needs to be found for it – to divert it from landfill, recycle the commodities contained or other similar processes.

The latest trends in the industry are to reduce the actual production of waste in the first place – through circular economy practices and developments of sustainable packaging.

The biggest waste management challenge facing the world in 2024 is the huge quantity of plastic (often single-use plastic) being produced without any real hope or chance of it being properly recycled.

We have covered in a number of blogs that real waste management will have to mean hugely reducing the production and usage of single-use plastics in particular and likely many other non-essential plastics.


Simple waste management plan: defining waste management

There has been an increasing trend towards smart and sustainable packaging, which is a great and vital step to stem the production of plastics at the start. You can take a look at companies in Australia such as Closed Loop. Major multinational Unilever has also recently announced that all plastic packaging by 2025 will be recyclable. See our blogs on resource recovery and carbon-neutral waste services.

As per a Unilever press release in January 2017, “Unilever today committed to ensuring that all of its plastic packagings are fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 as it called on the entire fast-moving consumer goods industry to accelerate progress towards the circular economy.”

In this regard, Waster has highlighted the fundamental questions regarding what integrated solid waste management is. For example, just because an item is “compostable” does not mean we can compost it.

Huge amounts of compostable products will end up in landfill – likely the vast majority – as no effective collection and disposal facilities exist in most areas.

For example, in 2017, there were no suitable commercial composting facilities in the State of Victoria that could accept compostable coffee cups!

what is the waste management hierarchy


Unilever’s commitment

“To help transform global plastic packaging material flows, Unilever has committed to:

  • Ensure all of its plastic packagings are designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
  • Renew its membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for another three years and endorse and support their New Plastics Economy initiative. As part of this, it will publish the full β€œpalette” of plastics materials used in its packaging by 2020 to help create a plastics protocol for the industry
  • Invest in proving, and then sharing with the industry, a technical solution to recycle multi-layered sachets, particularly for coastal areas which are most at risk of plastics leaking into the ocean

“Unilever has already committed to reducing the weight of the packaging it uses this decade by one third by 2020, and increase its use of recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025 against a 2015 baseline, both as part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. In 2015, it achieved its commitment of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across its manufacturing operations.”

This is a very promising development and something we hope other major corporates replicate in the near future as we discover more on waste management is.


Simple waste management plan for a small business: what we have learned so far from customers

Understand what you want the simple waste management plan for a small business to achieve

At the start, you need to get an understanding of how much rubbish you will produce. This can be tricky before you open. We can advise you on the usual bins and recycling and also how recycling can save you money.

Due to ever-increasing waste levies on dumping at the landfill, recycling can usually save you money.


Check that trucks can access your site at the right time

If you are in a residential area, there will be council curfews restricting truck access at night (this will be particularly important for businesses like aged care homes, home offices and childcare centres. The trucks may only be able to reach your location during the day – once a week (as opposed to every day at night).


Start gradually; it is very difficult to implement a complete waste management plan for small business from day one

We have learned from helping companies with a simple waste management plan for a small business that it is better to start gradually and then improve over time.

Training staff and actually separating waste usually takes effort and training.

It is best to start with east small business waste removal services such as cardboard bins, then commingled recycling services etc.

<Waste management plan for a small business Australia


Many of the financial benefits from a simple waste management plan for a small business happen at the start

The initial and easy recycling services such as cardboard and commingled bins will likely save you money. Food waste bins may not actually save you money – but you may seek to do it for environmental reasons.

You should also check if you are eligible for recycling grants for small businesses. Waster can, of course, help you with this.


Many customers do not know we provide the bin as well

Waster provides bins (see wheely bins) but does not charge bin rentals as long as you have at least one collection per month. Many customers query whether we also provide the bin; of course, the answer is yes!


General misunderstanding as to how grease traps work

To be honest this one is not surprising as very few people find them that interesting. We have written a number of blogs on grease traps such as Australia grease trap cleaning.


Many customers only want to book a recycling service and have limited general waste

When we formed Waster, we knew we had a focus on driving recycling. But, we are surprised by how much recycling is actually done. Many businesses are recycling the vast majority of their waste – i.e., cardboard or commingled recycling (yellow bin).


Lots of new businesses assume the council will collect their rubbish

When you are starting a new business, covering everything is pretty tricky i.e. like premises, employees, insurances etc. Bin collection for small business is something many people forget about – and we often get asked: “can you deliver the bins as soon as possible as we are already opened?”


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In many areas, commercial services are actually cheaper than the council

In some instances, council services are actually significantly more expensive than commercial services such as Waster’s. You really need to check with your council to really find out (see blog on waste collection Melbourne).


Customers sometimes think they are not in a lock-in contract, but…

This is one of the trickiest; and you really need to make certain that if you are moving waste suppliers, you are not falling prey to the infamous roll-over clause. See our blog on waste bins in Sydney and the weights of plastic garbage bins.


Check out our infographic here on how a smart and simple waste management plan for small business can really boost recycling and cut costs. In this instance, we cover two similar cafes.


Many businesses contact Waster with a vague notion that they are not doing everything perfectly in their waste management procedures. They are aware that they can save costs whilst helping the environment (recycling waste), but are generally uncertain where to start optimising their commercial rubbish removal. Whilst this blog post does not seek to provide a comprehensive answer to simple waste management plans, it will provide a good introduction and raise a number of pertinent questions that you should consider from a commercial business perspective.


Why would your business want a simple waste management plan in 2024?

A simple reason why your business should want to put a waste management plan in place is that very few things in life turn out perfectly just by luck!

There is an old saying that failing to plan is planning to fail. This is true in many situations. From our perspective, failing to have even a vague or simple waste management plan is a sure-fire way to end up paying more for waste disposal services than you need to and also recycling less. This has the double whammy of hitting your bottom line and also hurting the beautiful Australian environment.

The good news is that just putting in place a few simple steps can greatly improve your business outcomes. Please read on to see simple steps that you can put in place with a trusted waste collection partner such as Waster.

The latest research also shows that customers favour businesses that care about the environment and reward you with their wallets! See our blog on the topic of business recycling bins here.


Key steps in building a simple yet effective waste management plan in 2024

We recommend the following steps in pulling together a simple yet effective and simple waste management plan for your business.


A. Get a clear understanding as to your current situation

You should work out what volume of waste you are actually producing currently – i.e. the weights, volume (metres cubed), how often it is collected, how much you are paying, how many bins you have (and the sizes and position in your yard area) and the recycling percentage that you are currently achieving. If you can not measure it, it is pretty certain you will not know how well you are doing. You also need to know which suppliers service your varying waste streams such as medical waste disposalΒ or organic waste solutions.


B. Check the contract you have with your current supplier

You should make certain how long your contract runs for when it will roll over and if there are any negative clauses in there. Additionally, you should also make an assessment as to how effective your current supplier is and whether you are happy with the service and reliability received. You should also check if you have had an uprate letter recently or when you can expect another one.


C. Once you have worked out the volumes and weights of waste you are producing, you can set about organising it to be collected in a more efficient manner

A waste assessment may be a useful step to take. This can be organised by a number of suppliers (for example see Waste Options) – and will tell you the contents of your waste and whether you have a significant proportion of recyclable commodities such as bottles, cans, or paper and cardboard in your bins. As a rule of thumb recycling is generally cheaper than general waste, so removing paper and cardboard from your bins and putting in place a dedicated cardboard collection can save you money. You may even be able to obtain free cardboard recycling depending on the quantities you produce.


D. You can check the prices of various waste collections…

in your local area through our comprehensive online waste services shop. For example, see more details on commercial sanitary bins here.


E. The correct bin sizes are the next step to work out

If you have been able to remove a certain proportion from General Waste collection services (to go into cardboard or commingled recycling), you will need to work out the weekly volumes you produce and then choose the appropriate wheelie bin sizes.


F. The positioning of your bins can also deliver benefits

By posting a bin in the most appropriate place in your yard, you can save time and effort moving rubbish. This can also benefit health and safety performance as bins can be very heavy (particularly the larger bins such as 3m and 4.5 metres cubed bins). Positioning bins in the best position can reduce time spent by staff, ease access for bin trucks and help staff boost recycling. For example, if you position a recycling bin a distance away, you will likely see decreased recycling figures! People are only human after all.


G. Achieving your new recycling targets can be greatly assisted by using garbage bin stickersΒ and onsite posters

Waster consistently finds that the great majority of people are very keen and willing to increase recycling; but, that is only if they know clearly what to do and they are not greatly inconvenienced by doing so. Waste bins are all colour coded in official Australian waste and recycling colours. So, recycling is a clear and easy thing to do. It can also be a very good idea to explain to staff what you hope to achieve and place posters in sensible positions around the workplace explaining what waste should be deposited in which bin.


H. Keeping bins closed on wet days

Another simple waste management plan is to reduce average weights and keep bins from smelling; what you need to do is to keep the bin closed whenever possible, bag rubbish before dumping in the bin and also keep out of direct sunlight (especially important in the Australian summer). If your bin smells, please see our recent blog post on wheelie bin cleaning.


I. Pricing negotiation and flexibility

Once you know the bin services and schedules, you need to maximise your recycling and operations. The next vital step is to obtain those services at competitive prices and on flexible contract terms. Waster can certainly help you out in this regard and suggests you check out our blog posts on online garbage collection or waste management Sydney for info on saving money by moving to Waster. Now, onto the last effective and simple waste management plan!


J. Count your benefits

Once you have put these changes in place, you get to do the fun but ie.. count your financial savings and use your environmental / recycling improvements for marketing collateral to help your business grow. You will be amazed at how many people consider the environmental impact of their decisions when making a buying decision. After all, many Australians will give their No.1. vote in the Federal Elections today to the Green Party (and of course people who vote for other parties also care about the environment)!

And, that wraps up Waster’s list of effective and simple waste management plan.


How you can kick-start your simple waste management plan today

Waster can assist you in getting started through our free 24-hour waste management price comparison offer. If you submit an existing invoice, we will come back to you within a guaranteed 24 hours; we will show the financial savings you can achieve by moving to Waster. You can also check out recent articles we have done on various subjects such as secure document shredding.

See our blog on how to influence techniques that can help boost recycling in Recycling Adelaide. Also, see our blog on skip bin Adelaide and some great resources to make a waste plan.


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