Sustainable business

Waverley Council encourages businesses to reduce waste, conserve energy, and prevent litter pollution. Embedding sustainability into your business can reduce outgoing costs to make you more competitive. It can also improve your reputation while benefiting the environment. Here are some ways to operate your business more sustainably.

Reduce your business waste

Reduce your reliance on single use items

Straws, cups and takeaway containers are some of the most commonly littered items on our beaches and streets. Reducing the use of these items in your business can have a dramatic impact on your waste and the litter volumes in your area.

  • For dine-in customers, provide reusable cutlery, cups and dishes
  • For take-away customers, encourage them to bring their own containers and cups
  • Join a cup or takeaway container exchange program
  • In a commercial kitchen or for catering, consider replacing cling wrap with reusable food grade silicon covers.

There is no legislation prohibiting the use of BYO cups and containers during COVID-19 or otherwise. You can ask customers to provide clean reusable containers and hold on to their lids.

Download our tip sheet for unwrapping your business.

Confused about plastic alternatives? Plastic Free Bondi has done the research. Download the Plastic Free Bondi Sustainable Procurement Guide.

Ask suppliers for more sustainable delivery packaging

Ask your suppliers to eliminate excess packaging (such as plastic wrap) or to swap bulky and polluting materials such as Styrofoam for recyclable or reusable materials. Put the onus on your suppliers to take back their packaging after delivering goods, so that it becomes their responsibility to consider disposal measures.

Reduce food waste with the Your Business is Food program

If you own or manage a food business, reducing the amount of food you throw out will help you cut costs and increase profits. Love Food Hate Waste is a program run by the NSW EPA. Register for their free Your Business is Food program and reap the benefits of reduced food waste. Download this useful Food Waste Guide and Checklist to see where you could be saving food and keeping costs in check.

Donate surplus prepared food

If your business has excess prepared food, consider donating it to rescue organisations, such  as Ozharvest or SecondBite, who can provide nourishing meals to to vulnerable members of our community.

Upgrade tools and equipment to reduce waste and improve recycling

Have you ever considered equipment or tools that could help reducing waste or improve recycling in your business? Here are some examples of what other local businesses have implemented:

  • a food dehydrator to save excess prepared items
  • reusable silicon food wrap to replace cling wrap in the kitchen
  • source separation bins to improve recycling
  • an automatic milk or sparling water dispenser to reduce bottles
  • a cardboard baler to save space in the waste storage area

Learn about grant funding opportunities available to Waverley businesses. Search the Planet Ark catalogue for recycling equipment at

Manage your business waste and recycling responsibly

Manage your waste and recycling with effective planning, storage and communication with staff to help reduce litter and pollution in our local area.

Have a plan for waste

Ensure all staff and cleaners are aware of your business' waste management plan, including where waste is stored, contact information for contractors, and procedures in case of emergency or excess waste. Display this information prominently in a common area.

Find a recycler

Search for recycling services for your business on Planet Ark's Business Recycling Directory

Adjust waste collection services for high and low periods

Ask your waste and recycling service provider to adjust your service to accommodate busy periods, whether seasonally or monthly. This could mean ordering extra pick-ups or adjusting the number of bins you put out for collection, and downgrading service levels in quieter periods.

Store on your property

Ensure that all the waste and recycling generated at your property goes inside a bin or container to avoid attracting vermin. Store bins within your business site boundaries except when presenting for collection.

Keep footpaths clean and clear

Present bins no sooner than the close of business the night before collection day and bring them in as soon as possible after the bins have been collected. Bins should be presented for collection immediately out front of your property or in an agreed upon area.

Help staff with signage

Need bin area signage for staff or cleaners? Order free signs by emailing

Consider an organic waste collection service

If your business generates significant food waste, consider separating food waste from your general waste bin for organics collection. This can reduce significant waste to landfill and potentially reduce bin storage requirements. Talk to your current waste collector to ask if they provide an organics service, or search under Food and Food & Packaging categories to find suppliers.

Join the Compost Revolution

Businesses and community groups in Waverley can receive up to 5 of our standard compost bins and worm farms for free.  Email us or call 9083 8112 to find out more.

Reduce litter and dumping around your business

Present waste bins with lids closed

Bin too full? Overfull bins with popped up lids, or bagged rubbish outside of bins, can attract pests or vermin and contribute to windblown litter. Keep the excess waste for the next collection day or arrange to increase your service frequency to ensure all waste is containerised.

If you have large waste items that don’t fit in the bin such as cardboard, break down large cardboard into smaller pieces and place inside bins. If large items are too large to fit in the bin, contact a private contractor to collect the item for disposal.

Council offers free and easy to use bin straps to assist with keeping bin lids closed. Request yours by contacting us on

Prevent others from accessing your bins

Council suggests that bin lids are locked to bin bodies while the bins are stored on private property. This ensures that the bins are inaccessible to others, preventing people from adding waste to your bin, which could lead to overfull bins and associated litter issues, and potentially additional waste disposal costs.

Holes can be drilled through the middle of the bin lid and top of the bin body, then a simple combination lock and chain can be used, where the chain is fed through the holes. The bin will remain secured while stored on private property. When the bin is presented for collection service the lock is removed by the business then reattached after bins are emptied. Always check with your service provider prior to drilling holes in bin lids or bin bodies.

Give litter the clean sweep

Sweeping litter outside your property each day makes your storefront look inviting and shows customers that your business takes cleanliness seriously. Keeping a broom and scoop at the front door of your business is a good reminder to sweep up at the end of business hours. Get your staff invested in maintaining a clean space by rostering regular litter clean-up events.

Bin cigarette butts

If cigarette butt litter is accumulating in the areas surrounding your business, contact Waverley Council and request the installation of an enviropole (cigarette butt bin). Council will assess the situation and provide butt bins as required. Contact to enquire.  All the cigarette butts collected in enviropoles in the Waverley area recycled into new outdoor furniture and garden supplies.

Report dumping

If other businesses or residents are putting their waste on the ground around your bins or in the general area outside your property, this is considered illegal dumping. Please report all incidents to the Sydney Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) squad for investigation at

Save power and buy renewable energy

Find out how you can save on energy bills with simple tips at our Saving Energy at Work page.

Businesses that rent and have good roofs for solar power can reap the benefits of cheaper renewable energy with the SunTenants program. The program offers landlords support on choosing and installing the best solar for their site, helping tenants and landlords agree to a fair rent increase, and guaranteeing that tenants save more in bills than what they may pay in rent increases. Learn more at SunTenants

If that’s not workable, then you can buy GreenPower from your existing energy provider or choose a renewable electricity provider. Check out the Green Electricity Guide.

Save water in your business

How well do you know how to save water? For tips on how to save water and reduce costs in your business, visit our Water Saving at Work page.

Apply for grants and funding

Businesses in Waverley Council can apply for grant funding to be used for sustainability improvements, such as waste and recycling equipment. Learn more about funding sources and programs below:

Waverley Council’s Environment Grants 

Council provides two rounds of grant funding each year and aims to support environmental improvement projects and initiatives. The grants are intended for projects that demonstrate measurable waste,water or energy savings or improve biodiversity. Micro businesses with five or fewer full time employees are eligible to apply for up to $5,000. Learn more

NSW EPA Bin Trim program

If your business is considering investing in waste or recycling improvements, you could apply for a rebate of up to $50,000 to cover 50% of the cost of equipment or upgrades through the NSW EPA Bin Trim program. Each business will complete a free, no obligation Bin Trim assessment prior to applying for the rebate. Contact to learn more.

Jobs for NSW

Jobs for NSW offers financial support for innovative start-ups and scaling small to medium enterprises. helps you find grants, funding and support programs from across government to help your business grow and succeed.

Source and sell sustainable products and services

Sustainable Procurement

Eligible businesses can use the Sustainable Choice Supplier Database to source or sell sustainable products and/or services. To register as a seller, a business must demonstrate that they offer products and/or services that are eco-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable.

Look for recycled content

Recycled content supports reuse of materials and can create local jobs. Ask your supplier for recycled content. By supporting sustainable products with recycled content or sustainable business services, you are helping to create a circular economy in Waverley.

Get involved with the community

Is your business looking for team building activities that do good for the environment and our community?

Clean Up Australia Day

Clean Up Australia Day inspires and empowers communities to come together to pick up litter and prevent it from entering our waterways, and eventually the ocean where it can impact marine and human health. Businesses can get involved with Clean Up Australia Day each March, or organise clean ups throughout the year. Get involved.

Help map microplastic pollution with AUSMAP

Australian Microplastic Assessment Project (AUSMAP) supports environmental awareness through half or full day corporate team building activities, which provides solutions to minimise personal plastic footprints. Participants will learn about the growing problem with plastic waste, specifically microplastics & how they can be part of the solution. The focus is based around building partnerships for positive sustainability outcome. Learn More

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