Recycling at Monash Shopping Village

New bin designs and well researched positions increased recycling rates almost immediately at Monash Shopping Village in Mt Waverley.


The success of Monash City Council's Public Place Recycling (PPR) project at Monash Shopping Village so early in the implementation is a testament to the research carried out during the months before.

In 2011, Monash Council secured a $25,000 Public Place Recycling grant from the Victorian Government to improve recycling rates in Monash Shopping Village. The Council itself put in another $10,000.

The funds were earmarked for research, then design and installation of a new set of recycling bins for the shopping village at the end of 2011.

Statistics

In terms of research, the Monash team took an approach that illustrates what the Victorian Litter Action Alliance and the litter prevention profession would call best practice.

The program started in August 2011 with a comprehensive litter audit of existing litter bins.

This work indicated that 60% of litter bin contents could have been recycled. In other words, the potential for diversion was significant.

Consultation

Canvassing the views of village businesses was an essential part of the research, especially in terms of determining suitable locations for the new recycling bins, and getting grass roots intelligence on hot spots.

Professional advice from an outdoor furniture specialist and from the Council's own architecture and design people helped get the new recycling bins right and guide redesign of existing ones.

One innovation was to standardise openings for both litter and recycling bins, to streamline the collection process.

The research also showed that existing facilities were not dealing well with larger items such as pizza boxes, so the 'two round circles' arrangement of openings in use was replaced with a larger more linear opening per bin.

Quick results

At the beginning of December 2011, 13 new recycling bins were installed across the shopping village. Here are some results from an audit two weeks later measuring waste disposal over a 24 hour period.

  • Less recyclables in litter bins - a 50% drop (from 60% to around 33%).
  • Less landfill garbage all round - compared to August, a 75% reduction in disposals into litter bins.
  • A great recycling result - of the 50 Kg of waste deposited in litter and recycling bins combined, 80% of it went into recycling bins with very low contamination rates.
A quick result indeed.