The Green Office Program (PDF, 404.04 KB) (opens in a new window) is a joint imitative between Capital Works and Facilities and the Office of Sustainability. The program is designed to green your office, reduce office waste and increase recycling. A number of initiatives were implemented across all campuses including replacing under-desk waste bins with smaller more efficient desktop bins (PDF, 941.95 KB) (opens in a new window) and providing dual waste bins in common areas and lunch rooms. Since commencing the Green Office Program 5 years ago, we have reduced our waste to landfill by 71%. The savings have been $1,120,000 per annum since.
Mini Bin Program
Waste audits in offices indicate that up to 80% of the waste produced is recyclable! As part of the ongoing commitment the university has towards sustainability and its role in environmental management the 'Green Office Program' will enable all our staff to make a tangible difference in an area that accounts for a large percentage of energy and resource use within the university.
The mini desk bin will sit on your desk replacing the redundant and old fashioned under-desk bins. There is also be new co-mingled recycling bins in lunch rooms and common areas. With the removal of individual waste bins it is easier to recycle as the temptation to throw your recyclables away is removed.
How the system works
Staff are asked to take responsibility for their mini bin and empty it daily into the general waste bins in the either their lunch rooms or common rooms. The co-mingle recycling bins and general waste bins will be emptied as usual by the cleaners.
The new system aims to:
Increase recycling and reduce waste going to landfill
Increase individual responsibility for waste created
Reduce plastic bag liners going to landfill and cleaning time on rubbish removal
What goes in which bin?
Below is a general outline of which bin to use in your lunch room, common area or public spaces. When it doubt, keep it out.
What goes in the large red bin?
What goes in the large yellow bin?
Food scraps and waste
Plastic bottles, glass bottles and milk cartons
Soiled or wet napkins, paper towel, take-away boxes
Aluminium cans and tins
Plastic cling wrap, sandwich bags, plastic bags
Paper packing, paper bags and small amounts of paper
Broken crockery (mugs, plates, cups)
Plastic yoghurt containers
Take-away coffee cups and lolly/chip packets
Any plastics that are labelled 1 to 7
What about my paper recycling?
Paper products, such as reports, envelopes, writing pads, newspaper and magazines can either go in the VISY boxes under your desk or bins in your print room, as well as in your large paper wheelie bins. These bins will be continued to emptied by your cleaner.
Did you know the wrapping your reams of paper comes in is not recyclable? Please place these wrappers in your landfill bin and reuse your carboard boxes.
Wondering how you will find time to empty your bin daily?
You can empty your bin when:
You make your morning or late afternoon coffee
You place or collect your lunch in the fridge
You need to take a little break away from your work – OH&S requires you to get up and stretch
Just before you finish work, switch off your computer and turn off the lights
Taking care of your mini desk bin
The desk bins are highly durable and water proof. You can wash your desk bin under hot soapy water. Place a small freezer bag in the bin as a reusable liner – this prevents food sticking to the box and small accidental leaks. Alternatively you can place your mini desk bin on the floor under your desk if you like. You can order a new bin from Capital Works and Facilities.
Mini Desk Bin Testimonials
'I teach Resource Sustainability, and a few years ago my class conducted an audit of the waste in the bins on the Hawkesbury Campus. We were appalled to see how much recyclable waste was going into the regular waste bins! Apart from the money and resources wasted by landfilling recyclable materials, it is important for us as educators to practice what we teach.
But when these small desktop bins were introduced, even I was sceptical that they would provide enough room to hold all of my non-recyclable waste. What a surprise! I hardly even need the little red bin, since almost everything I discard is recyclable. If not, I walk the 30 steps into the lunchroom to throw my waste away.
It is a win for the campus and a win for the students, who can see sustainability in action!'
Dr. Sandra Diamond
School of Science and Health
'I just wanted to give you some individual feedback on the red desktop garbage bins.
When I was given the bin, I remember looking at it and thinking it must be a model of the one I was going to get, then realising it was in fact my new bin. I was pretty sure at that point it was going to be a failure - after all, how could it possibly be adequate?
Anyhow, its now a couple of weeks on and I have to say I'm amazed and I really like it. There's a sentence I never thought I'd say - I like my garbage bin! It fits a fair enough amount in it and it has added benefit of making me get out of my chair when it is full and distribute the various pieces into the bins in the kitchen. An incy bit of incidental exercise is part of the benefit.
So, well done. I hope it's taken up across the University.'
University Complaints Resolution Manager
'I support staff emptying their own mini bins - there is an added health benefit in that staff can get up, break the sedentary cycle, and stretch at the same time. These short activity breaks are an important contributor to health gain.'
Professor Gregory Kolt,
Dean of the School of Science and Health
School of Science and Health