ACT’s smart program boosts business recycling

From training for cleaners to awards recognition, the ACT Government’s Actsmart Business Recycling program is making 
a big impact on the territory’s sustainability performance. Organisations from across Australia are now being invited to use Actsmart’s tools to improve their recycling rates.

When it comes to setting objectives, following “SMART” goals is commonly accepted by businesses as the route to success. The ACT Government incorporated these principles and a suite of tools in its Actsmart Business Recycling program, which is helping firms achieve better waste outcomes and save money.

Actsmart Senior Manager, Ros Malouf, says the impetus for the program stemmed from the desire to align the ACT’s well-established household recycling system with workplace recycling.

Kerbside recycling for Canberra residents started in 1994, with recycling wheelie bins introduced to each household for used glass bottles, plastics, aluminium and steel cans, milk and juice cartons, paper and cardboard, and foil.

“Over time, residents became aware of what can and can’t be recycled and wanted to be able to recycle at work like they did at home,” says Ros.

As a result, work on a business recycling program started in 2008. The project team had two main aims: to encourage recycling in the workplace and to reduce the large amount of commercial waste going to landfill.

Planning took several months,
as project officers worked closely with managers of the materials recycling facility and waste industry representatives on scheme design.

“We wanted to know the program was practical, viable and realistic both from the collection and implementation side of the program,” explains Ros.

The ACT Government also committed to funding the initiative to encourage participation across both small and
large businesses.

Supportive process

Actsmart Business Recycling launched 
in 2009. In a forward-thinking and collaborative move, it later included
a cross-border agreement with Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, so firms there could also take part.

To continue reading please see page 22 of Issue 9.