Businesses have a need to dispose of their waste responsibly. Ineligible for free council waste collections, it is often difficult to find ways to dispose of difficult items responsibly and ethically. One of BBP’s objectives is to encourage the reduction of business waste that is sent to landfill, either reducing the amount of waste generated at the outset or looking at ways to reuse, repurpose or recycle the unwanted materials and keep them going in the economy.
The Circular Economy is a concept we are all becoming more familiar with these days. This is a shift from the usual linear life cycle of goods from extracting virgin materials to produce new goods, which are then used until end of life and subsequently disposed of, usually ending up in landfill. The circular economy looks to design waste out of the system and reutilising materials by redirecting them once they have fulfilled one use and turning them into another through considering how to re-purpose, re-use or recycling.
In this article we look at some ways for local businesses to ethically dispose of hard to recycle items.
Arnies Recon Free Electronic and E-waste pick up
Arnies Recon is a for-profit, social enterprise that has only been operational since December 2019, but they have already saved over 300 tonnes of electronics and appliances destined for landfill collected from the Sydney metropolitan area. Launched by husband and wife team Lisa and Adrian Saunders, Arnies Recon was founded to reduce the electronic waste going to landfill.
They offer free pick up and recycling of appliances and electronics from households and businesses in the Sydney region. Much of the stuff they pick up is redistributed to small businesses who fix them up for reuse or repurposing or use the parts in repairing other items. They work with people to repair and reuse things locally, but do not donate or sell the appliances or electronics directly to consumers. They take and recycle most things that have a power cord including computers and monitors, mobile phones, stereos, televisions, washers, dryers, air conditioners, dishwashers, fridges plus all the cables, remotes and assorted bits. Check their website to find what is collected and shout them a coffee for their efforts at keeping stuff out of landfill.
EcoActiv offers a simple to use digital platform for all your business disposal needs. There are some free pick up and disposal services for certain items that are covered by a product stewardship program (for example Apple items and certain e-waste). For anything else, a service is provided to pick up the unwanted materials at a pick up fee that is quoted directly in the platform. An added bonus when you use Ecoactiv is the donation of Emeals through its partnership with social enterprise Pony up for Good.
Pony Up For Good
Pony Up for Good is also a for profit social enterprise begun by Mardi Brown and Cat Harding with the goal of turning decommissed technology into providing healthy meals for the community through donating 50% of all profits to SecondBite. Pony Up For Good provide e-waste sustainability services & community impact outcomes for some of Australia’s biggest businesses by removing donated, decommissioned technology – securely data erasing it and then on-selling it with a ‘reuse first mandate’ – keeping toxic chemicals out of landfill and waterways. They have partnered with EcoActiv to provide emeals for all waste collected giving the businesses who use the service an added feel good bonus as well as ethically disposing of unwanted materials.
What to do with End of Life Uniforms
If your business provides uniforms for staff, you may be wondering how to dispose sustainably of a large quantity of worn out and end of life uniforms. BBP member Worn Up a start up venture with a goal to save 100 Tonnes of uniforms from landfill and upcycle them into new items such as school desks or acoustic tiles. Worn Up provides collection boxes for schools or organisations to retrieve used uniforms, or a bespoke collection can be negotiated. Go to www.wornup.com to find out more.
The Uniform Exchange
Second hand school uniforms with life still in them can be sold through BBP accredited member The Uniform Exchange located in Pymble along with a selection of text books, sports and musical equipment.
Northern Sydney Community Recycling Centre
At the Community Recycling Centre (CRC) located in Artarmon, you can drop off a lot of household problem waste that cannot go in your kerbside bins at household quantities (20 kg or less) such as paint, fluorescent lights, batteries, e-waste and CD’s, gas bottles and X-rays. Go to the website here to find out a complete list of what is and is not accepted.