On-site Recycling Facilities

What are they?

Provision of collection and storage facilities for recycling waste produced by the building occupants. Requires recycling bins, on-site storage facilities and provisions for the waste contractor  to collect and process waste.

Advantages / Disadvantages

Strong sustainability and CSR message.

Low cost to implement.

Resource efficiency

Increased recycling will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, thereby conserving resources. The effectiveness of a recycling strategy will be maximised when there is a recycling policy in  place which is disseminated to occupants so they fully utilise  the facilities.

Running costs

There is, potentially, a financial saving because less commercial waste is being sent to landfill and segregated waste bins are  typically cheaper to dispose of than mixed waste bins.The case that the existing waste management contract  requires amendment to realise this saving.

Retrofit / improvement opportunities

Straightforward to retrofit into any building.

Applicable buildings

All building types providing there is sufficient space to store  several recycling bins in a central location. Green Star recommends, for example, an area of 10m2 for a 5,000m2 office  building or 20m2 if there is catering waste being generated.

Floor plate implications

A small area of space will be required to accommodate  the bins at each floor level or in the tenant’s demise.

Occupant comfort

No issues.  Some occupant training is generally required to reduce the contamination of recycling streams

Maintenance implications

Additional cleaning will be required for the bins stored centrally and on each floor or space.


Separate bins will be provided throughout the building for different waste materials to be used by the tenants and other  building users. This will typically include paper, plastic bottles,  cans, etc. It will also include organic waste if there is food preparation taking place and other specific waste bins  depending on the use of the building. For example, retail buildings will have bins for packaging waste.

Individual bins are taken to a central refuse point for collection by the recycling waste contractor with bins clearly marked to identify specific waste streams.

Questions to ask

  • Which waste streams are segregated?
  • Who is responsible for collecting waste from the tenants and storing it in the central recycling storage area?

More information

References needed