Reduce waste in your business

Waverley Council has an ambitions target of 75% resource recovery of residential and commercial waste by 2020 in our Environmental Action Plan 2018- 2030 and in line with the NSW Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2014 - 2021. This requires a collective effort from everyone in Waverley Council area, including local businesses.

Eliminate single-use packaging

In food businesses

Straws, cups and takeaway containers are some of the most commonly littered items on our beaches and streets. With the passing of the Plastic and Circular Economy Act 2021 by the NSW Parliament which bans a suite of single-use plastic items, it is more important than ever to start considering how to eliminate single-use items from your business.

As part of our commitment to becoming a zero-waste community, Waverley Council has partnered with the NSW EPA to coordinate programs that aim to support businesses find reusable alternatives to single-use food and beverage packaging. A number of businesses have set up mug libraries and container swap systems  to reduce their reliance on single-use takeaway packaging. Learn more about these programs on the Hello Bondi webpage.

For information on how to reduce and recycle plastic at work, visit Planet Ark. If you have excess, clean, unused single-use plastics as a result of the NSW Single-Use Plastic ban, register with the Great Plastic Rescue to ensure it is recycled.

Other simple solutions include:

  • 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, or start a mug library
  • 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.

Download our tip sheet for unwrapping your business or the Plastic Free Bondi Sustainable Procurement Guide.

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.

Reduce organic waste to landfill

Cut 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

Find an organic waste contractor

If your business generates food waste, consider separating food waste from your general waste bin for organics collection. 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 or search Compost Connect.

Join the Compost Revolution

If your business wants to compost your organic waste onsite, then join the Compost Revolution by doing Council’s free online tutorial and quiz at Compost Revolution, then receive your discounted compost bin or worm farm (plus worms) delivered to your door. If you have any questions Email us or call 9083 8000.

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

Join free special recycling programs for the workplace

You don’t have to be a facilities manager or deal with waste contracts to have a positive impact at work and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Workplaces can make use of free recycling programs for mobile phones, printer cartridges, e-waste and coffee capsules. Download Planet Ark’s easy to use guide to workplace recycling to learn more.

Reduce fit out and refurbishment waste from buildings

The Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) is a leading collaboration of property owners, managers and key influencers that plays a key role in improving the performance and sustainability of existing buildings in the City of Sydney area and across Australia. The Better Buildings Partnership have drawn on research and expertise of program partners to prepare resources to reduce fit out and refurbishment waste from buildings. BBP Stripout Waste Guidelines – a practical tool to help tenants, building owners and contractors reduce waste through improved stripout processes and significantly increase resource recovery rates.

WRAP promotes and encourages sustainable resource use through product design, waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and reprocessing of waste materials. Designing Out Waste: A design team guide for Buildings- This document provides information on the key principles that designers can use during the design process and how these principles can be applied to projects to maximise opportunities to Design out Waste.

Use National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)

NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. NABERS is a platform to measure the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment. NABERS can be used to measure a building’s energy efficiency, carbon emissions, as well as the water consumed, the waste produced and compare it to similar buildings. Learn more: