In mid-2008, the Centre’s co-owners, Eureka Funds Management Limited, contracted Great Forest Australia to undertake a comprehensive audit of the site’s recycling and waste management systems, analyse tenant performance, and develop a program to significantly increase recycling and reduce landfill waste across the site.
The size and layout of the site presented a challenge, which meant conducting the waste audit over three days, with six staff on site for 12 hours each day. In addition, Great Forest Australia’s project team visited and spoke with each tenancy regarding their current waste management practices, in order to acquire the knowledge required to design an improved system for the Centre.
Using the initial audit’s findings, Great Forest Australia designed a new system that included an expansion in the number of drop-off points for tenants’ general waste, paper, cardboard, glass, metal, and hard and soft plastics; colour-coded signage; and installation of public recycling bins in the food court.
Great Forest Australia also designed and managed an education program for tenants and trained Centre staff in the operation of the new systems. Issues that had to be overcome were gaining buy-in from all tenants, from large retailers and restaurants to small food outlets, and minimising contamination rates in recycling streams.
To ensure the program’s success, the project team once again visited each tenant to explain the new system, answer questions, and resolve any lingering issues.
Throughout the process, strong support from the Centre’s management and owners was crucial in the Centre’s achieving a 50% increase in waste diversion relative to level before implementation of the new program, resulting in the avoidance of 366 tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted each year.