Trash Talk

Find out how we’ve helped our clients manage their tricky recycling needs.

It's National Recycling Week and a great opportunity to pause and consider collectively how we can raise awareness about the importance of recycling. 

Started in 1996 by Planet Ark, National Recycling Week is designed to educate on ways to reduce waste and recycle more.

Recycling isn't just good practice; it's good business. That’s why we're always working with our clients to review their recycling practices – looking for ways to improve efficiencies, reduce waste and save them money. Consumers are also more often demanding that businesses consider the impact of their operations on the planet, with terms such as 'circular economy' and 'embodied carbon' now featuring in many boardrooms. 


Veolia defines sustainable business practices through the lens of Ecological Transformation. It symbolises an organisation's ambitions to consider its environmental impacts, and design them in a way that allows not only their business, but humans, to thrive in balance with the environment.


Made of five key elements, Ecological Transformation is;

  • Implementing solutions our societies need to turn the tide. 
  • Taking on ecological challenges to build a better and more sustainable future for all.
  • Accelerating, inventing and promoting activities that have the greatest impact now and into the future.
  • Partnering with our stakeholders to deliver useful and impactful solutions together.
  • Empowering our people's talent and commitment to move forward together.


How we're helping our clients achieve their Ecological Transformation.

Across our business, we're helping our clients redefine their sustainability stories through innovative recycling strategies. As part of National Recycling Week, we're shining a light on some of the practical ways we've been helping our clients achieve these results through recycling.


The launch of RECYCLEPAK™

This week we launched our new pre-paid recycling system – RECYCLEPAK™ - to our Australian customers.  RECYCLEPAK™ allows you to conveniently recycle your hard to recycle items in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, and  is designed to work seamlessly in office and retail spaces. RECYCLEPAK™  offers a number of  hard to recycle waste streams and multiple systems can be deployed at any site. With Veolia's complete door-to-door service, it's a convenient and simple way to get on top of your waste. 

Learn more


Solving a recycling problem over lunch.

In order to keep food fresh and comply with COVID safety protocols, a client issues approximately 80,000 plastic lunch containers to their remote fly-in-fly-out workers onsite. Interesting fact - if these containers were stacked inside one another, they would form a stack  higher than the Eiffel Tower (which is 324 meters tall!).  With no recycling scheme in place, these containers were going to landfill.

Our client wanted to change this, and increase recycling rates, so we installed conveniently located recycling stations onsite to make recycling easier. In just 3 months, over 5,000 containers were collected and recycled, equating to over 20 cubic metres of waste being diverted from landfill.

The benefits:

  • Up to 80,000 plastic containers diverted from landfill each year
  • Approximately 20m3 saved from landfill in the first 3 months
  • Increased lifespan of the existing onsite landfill 
  • The recycled  materials can now be used to create new products


Giving workwear a second chance.

Australia is the second highest consumer of textiles per person in the world, after the United States of America. Each Australian consumes an average of 27 kilograms of new clothing per year and disposes an average 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill each year, or 93 per cent of the textile waste we generate.

When a client site was audited, we found they were generating over 4,000 kg of textile waste (including uniforms and bedding), every year. That’s the same weight as a flatbed truck! This was all going to landfill, but when organisations take on the responsibility of solving challenges associated with their workwear disposal, new and innovative solutions can be found.

We provided an onsite separation system for workers to dispose of uniforms, protective eyewear, boots, and hard hats. These products were then recycled and given another life.

The benefits:

  • Over 40 hard hats, 2 m3 of e-waste and 1 m3 of clothing were diverted from landfill in the first month. 
  • This supported the client's goal towards Zero Waste by 2050
  • The local economy was boosted by supporting local recycling business and retailers


Reaching a goal of Zero waste to landfill.

We love a challenge, and when a client came to us to help them achieve the ambitious goal of diverting all their waste from landfill, we got to work. We began reviewing all waste streams with a dedicated onsite recycling manager to identify the biggest landfill culprits. In this case, being a food manufacturer, excess food often found its way to landfill. Working with food scientists, we converted this waste into animal feedstock – helping support farmers with a new feed source in times of drought.

Additionally, we reviewed our client's operational efficiencies, identifying improved bin utilisation rates as a way of reducing overall bin needs and pick-up ratios. By implementing simple but effective measures such as; reusable mugs replacing single-use cups, reusable plates and cutlery, reusable timber pallets and reusable cloth rags, we helped significantly reduce our clients' waste. 

The benefits:

  • Over 10,000 single-use cups avoided in 2020
  • 2,400 Tonnes of food waste diverted from landfill
  • Up to 4,560 Tonnes of methane emissions avoided


Giving pallets the VIP treatment.

Recycling wooden pallets and turning them into furniture may not be the first thing you consider, but with a bit of imagination and ingenuity, that's exactly what we did.

A client was looking to find a way to recycle the many wooden pallets used onsite.  Through our pallet recycling initiative, they were able to divert more than 4,000 pallets from landfill in just 3 months. These were then crafted by a  local furniture manufacturer into bespoke home decor. 

The benefits:

  • The client saved approximately $800 per load due to reduced volume going to landfill 
  • Greenhouse gases released from the landfill were reduced by up to 90%
  • This supported the client's goal towards Zero Waste by 2050
  • The local economy was boosted by supporting local recycling business and retailers


Taking the time to consider your impact.

Doing a review of your waste management doesn't have to be an overwhelming exercise. Often it's the apparent culprits that give you the biggest wins. Consider the following when deciding on how to address your recycling program:

  • What changes in behaviour would immediately reduce the amount of waste we produce?
  • How can we get our partners and people to support our initiatives?
  • Can we replace high waste products? If not, can we reduce the volume of waste it produces?
  • Can you bring in a specialist to help get on top of your recycling strategy?


A simple waste audit can give you some valuable insights and strategies to gain control of your recycling. Our Veolia sustainability experts will work with you to find new and innovative ways of getting on top of your waste streams.



 Talk to one of our sustainability specialists to arrange a waste audit to help identify how you can become more sustainable.