Sustainability systems: Method Recycling

Sebastian Waddell of Method Recycling explains how education and centralised waste stations can help reduce businesses’ costs.

Multinational corporations announcing large-scale sustainability commitments has been a common theme of 2019.

 As a result, organisations are under increasing pressure to take ownership of their waste. Beyond social pressure, businesses also have to deal with legislative changes, namely the introduction and/or rise of landfill levies.

According to Sebastian Waddell, Method Recycling National Business Development Manager, companies are now further examining how they can reduce and separate waste and recycle more effectively.

 Method operates under the philosophy of open plan recycling, where centralised recycling stations replace traditional under desk bins and one source recycling.

According to Sebastian, behavioural change is key to the Method process.

“When bins are hidden away, people often throw their waste away mindlessly, but with our system they are confronted with a choice that forces them to think, what am I holding and where does it go?” he says.

Sebastian says the first stage of switching to Method is preliminary consultation and strategy development.

First, Method contacts the client’s waste contractor to ensure it has the capacity to collect the required source separated streams. If the contractor doesn’t, Sebastian says Method will encourage the client to outsource to an additional contractor.

“Clients often think outsourcing will be an expensive process. However, if their current waste contractor is only collecting two streams, landfill and recycling, they are essentially sending 30 to 50 per cent of their waste to landfill.

“There are significant levy fees attached to landfill disposal, so getting the client to source separate as much as they can by contacting additional parties will drastically reduce waste management overheads.”

Education is the central component of this process, Sebastian says. He says that Method continuously keep its clients up to date on waste levy increases and contamination charges.

After collection is addressed, Method works closely with the client on education programs and system rollouts. “We ask, what has worked for your company in the past? What hasn’t? And what goals do you want to achieve?” We then develop support systems and collateral that underscore the do’s and dont’s of each bin, based on the waste types at that specific organisation.”

Sebastian explains that while most people are open to source separating, individuals who haven’t been exposed to the process before can be hesitant.

“In that case, it’s about working with those objections and helping people understand the benefits of separating their waste,” he says.

“The biggest problem is always the removal of under-desk bins.”

To address under-desk pushback, Method developed the precycler product, which sits on individual desks and allows people to source separate on a micro level.

When an individual then needs to leave their desk, they can take the precycler with them for disposal at a central bin station, Sebastian says

“One of our larger clients has 20 separate offices, and with that level of staff there was bound to be resistance, but after we introduced the precycler opposition dissolved immediately,” he says.

“People are becoming more conscious of their waste and it’s clear that interest is growing. Sustainability is a slow-moving wheel, but we’re getting there.

For more information contact Sebastian Waddell at sebastian@methodrecycling.com

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The behaviour changing bins

A well-designed bin could change the way individuals interact with waste and recycling in the workplace, writes Dan Crawford, Method Australia Business Development Manager.

Why do aesthetics matter when it comes to a bin?

A seemingly unimportant factor of a formerly ‘basic’ office fixture became the foundation of the award-winning bins from Method Recycling.

The beautiful bins have helped leading organisations around the world to recycle more and waste less.

Method has quickly emerged as the preferred waste and recycling solution for modern offices, workspaces, venues and facilities around the world.

The bins have a proven record of diverting waste from landfill and are featured in leading spaces including Foster + Partners, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Canva, Atlassian, Qantas and many more.

Method began when co-founders Steven and India Korner continuously saw organisations that wanted to recycle, without the tools to be successful.

Bins and recycling systems had often been an afterthought – with ugly bins hidden in cupboards and kitchens, or desk bins – both of which don’t encourage or facilitate recycling.

The Korners believed that a well-designed bin could change the way individuals interact with waste and recycling in the workplace, and it has.

With the desire to make a visible difference, they set off on a three-year journey of research and development to understand the needs of all those involved in a buildings waste and recycling process.

They held focus groups, developed prototypes, and even helped cleaners on the night shift to gain a truly holistic view and ensure that the bins worked for everyone.

More than just a bin, the Korners created a system that is considered, well designed and purposeful.

Recycling is no longer an afterthought, but instead a featured part of workspace design.

Open Plan Recycling

Through the design process, Method pioneered Open Plan Recycling – a new philosophy of workspace recycling and waste.

Method’s bins are designed to be placed together to form flexible recycling stations, that are then located consistently throughout an open-plan space. These flexible stations mean that organisations can easily adapt the Method system to their needs; adding or moving waste streams as their needs change, or based on feedback from users.

Single bins or smaller stations can also be placed where recyclables are produced to maximise results; such as a paper bin next to the printer or an organics bin in the kitchen.

In its most simple form, this changes the way that individuals interact with waste and recycling in the workplace. By removing desk bins users are unable to simply throw their waste away without a thought. Instead, recycling bins are available alongside all general waste bins.

Further, having consistent recycling stations throughout a building standardises recycling. Consistency in location, streams and colour-coding means that through regular interaction recycling becomes an unconscious behaviour.

One of the fundamental principles that makes Method’s philosophy successful is visibility – so the appearance of the bins is crucial.

Method’s bins are designed to be out in the open as a visible statement of an organisations commitment to recycling and sustainability.

Further, the visibility also increases awareness and accountability, while instilling a collective culture of responsibility into an organisation – changing recycling behaviours at work and subsequently at home.

The New Method in Practice

Having worked with an array of organisations around the world, Method has continued to find that the bins can have a significant impact.

The durable bins are made from 50 per cent recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their life, so you can feel confident you are making a sustainable choice.

Design giant Canva introduced Method bins as they were working towards some lofty sustainability goals.

They continued to grow rapidly with new offices around the world so needed a recycling system that was simple to implement and maintain, while complementing their beautifully designed offices.

Canva’s Global Office Architect Shamal Singh says Method’s bins allow the sometimes daunting task of having four waste and recycling options to be manageable and scalable across our ever-expanding offices.

The results of Methods bins speak for themselves. Westpac Bank in New Zealand reduced waste to landfill from 70 per cent to 40 per cent. Meanwhile, Palmerston North City Council reduced waste to landfill by 62 per cent in three months.

Can Method help you achieve your recycling and sustainability goals? Click here.

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