Lower your impact

Reducing waste

Segregated waste can often be recycled and may be a valuable product for another business

Remember the 3 Rs...


  • Quantify the waste you produce. Waste is the difference between the materials you pay for and the materials your customer pays for.
  • Account for the difference between the tonnage of raw materials and the tonnage of products you produce. This will allow you to identify reduction opportunities.
  • Examine each process step to determine where wastes are produced and to devise measures for waste prevention or reduction. Many wastes occur because of process inefficiency.
  • Calculate the theoretical minimum waste production from your processes. You should aim to keep within 10 per cent of this figure.
  • Devise ways of reducing your waste with your employees and suppliers so they too can share in the savings, for example rewards for employees and suppliers who reduce waste.
  • Remember, your waste management contractor is a key supplier for assisting with waste minimisation. Ask them how they can help and work in partnership.
  • Keep a running tally of waste production so you can track your improvement. Make sure you include internal wastes such as rework and recycle streams.


  • Reuse drums and containers where possible. Ask suppliers to exchange empties.
  • Identify ways of reusing materials in the process at different stages, for example recirculating cooling water.
  • Identify possible ways of selling your waste to other organisations for their production processes. This information can be found through Sustainability Victoria.


  • Segregate wastes wherever possible – this will aid recycling and provide an indication of why waste is forming (do not mix waste streams).
  • Investigate alternative uses for organic waste that cannot be reduced or reused, for example compost or convert the waste to energy.
  • Divert recyclable wastes from the general waste bin, identify recyclers or waste disposal contractors and organise regular collections.
  • Join with neighbouring businesses to get common wastes recycled cost effectively and talk to your waste contractor about cost off-sets by efficient serving of the area.

Less waste = less pollution = less effort = less cost

Useful links

Page last updated on 3 Jul 2012