Knox Shopping Centre has partnered with the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum to launch the largest recycling program of its kind in an Australian shopping centre. The new recycling system is expected to divert more than 100 tonnes of recyclables from landfill each year.
Knox Shopping Centre currently generates 2,301,000 kilograms of general waste and 1,107,000 kilograms of recycling materials annually. A new initiative aims to increase the centre’s recycling rate from its current 16 percent to 50 percent by late 2013.
The initiative will also provide away-from-home recycling opportunities to over 12.4 million visitors annually and result in less than 10 percent contamination in recycling bins, set to become a benchmark rate for recycling in Australia.
Seventy-five new permanent waste and recycling bin stations have been installed in the centre, carrying a national call to action to recycle, ‘Do The Right Thing, Use The Right Bin’. These are expected to divert more than 100 tonnes of beverage containers from landfill annually.
A large-scale educational program was implemented at the shopping centre. Each of the 350 retailers at Knox Shopping Centre was given the tools to recycle correctly, including free recycling bins, an educational DVD, face-to-face engagement and training, and flyers outlining all details of the program.
In addition, Knox Shopping Centre is the first shopping centre in Australia to implement organic back-of-house and comingled recycling across the entire centre. It is expected that the centre will record a three-star NABERS rating for waste by the end of 2013.
The centre has already made improvements in the areas of water and electricity consumption. In 2011, it reduced its annual water consumption by 1.8 percent compared with the previous year. This equated to a saving of 5.3 million litres. In the same year it reduced its electricity consumption by 10.1 percent compared to the previous year, equating to a saving of approximately 1.7 million kilowatts.