The Steps We Took To Introduce Our New Waste Management Policies
Over the past 8 months at The Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines we’ve been trying to be more conscientious about our waste. We wanted to change our attitude and practices towards our waste disposal, for the better. Here are the 5 steps we took to introduce a new waste management policy:
1. Learn about good waste management practices
Seeking out information is key. We sought out information from the net, contacting some of our suppliers on how they recommend we dispose of the waste produced by their packaging/product etc. We also went online to learn about area specific ways that we can responsibly dispose of our waste.
Composting, recycling, re-using, redcycle etc. there are quite a few ways to avoid sending your waste to landfill, you just need to find out how you can do it.
2. Seek out local help to understand what is already being done around us
Keeping it local is key. For one, each recycling facility has different capabilities that will determine what you can and can’t put in your recycling bin. Your area is going to influence how you can manage your waste.
We turned to Local Government (for us the City of Swan) and met up with their waste management and education officer. We sought out other cafes in the area who already had some good practices in place, to collaborate and share experiences. We joined some local Facebook groups who were aimed at waste reduction. We are a business but locals know lots of information about sneaky ways you can dispose of waste responsibly and relevant to your area. We also turned to the recycling facility that takes our waste to learn exactly how we can reduce contamination in our bins.
3. Establish what we are doing, what can be done better & what we are not yet doing
Do a little bit of reflection on your current practices and give yourself a pat on the back for what you are doing, but also bring a critical mind set and examine how you can improve. One of the things we realised that we needed to improve on, was collection points for our waste. We didn’t have enough and they needed to be labelled better as well.
4. Train ourselves & our crew
Training is the most important part of introducing our new policies. It is how we involve our team & make it a habit rather than just another rule to follow. Here are some tips from what we learnt:
Educate your staff
We have a “Wall on Waste” to educate our staff. Anything that is even slightly educational goes on the wall, it ranges from educational posters and campaigns we’re apart of, too taping plastic bottle lids to the wall saying, “I’m not recyclable.” If your staff don’t know how to correctly dispose of your waste, it’s not going to happen.
Make it easy for your staff
During busy or peak periods of the day when your staff are rushing trying to keep on top of things, people cut corners. So make it easy for your staff to dispose of waste created correctly. Have as many collection points for your rubbish as you need, and have them all well labelled. It shouldn’t be hard to do the right thing.
Make the switch to biodegradable items
We have also made the switch to products that biodegrade faster, so that if our waste isn’t disposed of in the ideal way, at least it’s not around for as long. Get paper straws instead of plastic ones, cardboard or paper t/a items, unbleached items are great too. If you can ensure your everyday waste items are going to biodegrade faster, that’s already a massive win.
Do what you can to reduce the amount of waste produced by your business, return packaging boxes to your suppliers, opt out of giving straws with every beverage etc. Less waste is better than correctly disposed of waste.
Reach out to benchmark campaigns and businesses
We reached out to a few businesses in the area to help us with our waste; Write Solutions, Ward Packaging, Bio Pak, Kooda etc. Businesses in the waste management industry are more than happy to help you manage your waste better, and usually only at a small cost.
We would love to hear about how you implemented your waste management policies! Leave us a comment below with your story and the challenges you faced.