Managing business waste

It’s easy if you do it right

You may be surprised by the number of options and services now available to help businesses reduce waste. These can save money, improve efficiency and safety, reduce environmental impacts, and gain customers. On this page you will find:

  • Five simple steps to get it right
  • Small business Waste Reduction Toolkit to guide you through a waste review
  • Services and recycling options for common business wastes

Getting it right

1. Look for efficiencies

Before looking at recycling, think about avoiding, reducing or reusing waste. This could include avoiding single-use items, switching to reusable packaging, reviewing inventory management to avoid spoilage, and seeking alternative uses for off-cuts and by-products. Read the NSW EPA industry fact sheets about waste in twelve common business types to find tips for your business.

2. Choose recycling services

If there is anything recyclable in your garbage bin, you’re probably wasting money. Look for a service to suit the amount and type of recycling you have. See the following list of services and recycling options, or use the search tool on the BusinessRecycling website:

3. Make it easy

Put small internal recycling bins in convenient locations, such as in the staff room for recycling drink bottles, or in the receivals area for recycling packaging. Make sure there are signs on all bins, and consider purchasing purpose built colour-coded recycling bins. Always try to pair recycling bins with garbage bins as a recycling bin on its own might attract garbage from a lazy passer-by.

4. Involve staff

Ask staff if it’s easy, seek suggestions, discuss it in meetings, and include in new staff inductions. Waste management is a tangible part of every day in most workplaces – if it is done neatly and efficiently many staff members will like it.

5. Promote your system

Formalise and promote your efforts by adopting a waste management policy and displaying it for customers and staff. This reinforces staff compliance and gives customers one more reason to support you. There is a basic policy template available for this in the Small Business Waste Reduction Toolkit section.

Small Business Waste Reduction Toolkit

This toolkit provides a simple process, tools, templates and case studies to help small business reduce waste and save money.


Services and recycling options

Most businesses in Kempsey Shire are eligible to receive Council’s three-bin system. This includes a red-lidded garbage bin (collected weekly), a yellow-lidded recycling bin (collected fortnightly) and a green-lidded food & garden organics bin (collected weekly). Additional bins can be arranged. For details contact the Waste Hotline - 1300 342 207. For fees see Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges -

Commercial waste contractors also provide a range of waste and recycling collection services in the area. To find out about these, and about locations where you can drop off various materials for recycling, use the search tool on the BusinessRecycling website:

Printer ink & toner cartridges

These can be recycled for free through the Cartridges for Planet Ark program. Drop off your ink & toner cartridges at Australia Post outlets, Council offices or the Crescent Head Road Waste Management Centre. If you use three or more cartridges per month you may be eligible for your own free cartridge recycling box - for details visit 

Mobile phones

Mobile phones contain both valuable and harmful materials. MobileMuster is the industry funded program established to increase recycling rates for mobile phones and accessories. To send your old phone to MobileMuster you can:

  • Drop them in Council’s MobileMuster bins at Council offices, libraries, or Crescent Head Road Waste Management Centre.
  • Join MobileMuster and order a collection box for your workplace, or download a mailing label and send them your phone in a padded envelope - visit 

Coffee pods

If you use Nespresso coffee pods, you can order a postage-paid Australia Post recycling satchel to return pods for recycling, or you can order a bulk recycling box and arrange a free pick-up when it’s full. Visit the recycling section at Newspresso website for details:

If you use another brand of coffee pods, check their website for any available recycling options.