Tips on Reducing Waste in the Sydney Retail Industry

The retail industry is one of the largest industries in the world. You only need to look around your home or your workplace, to see the goods you’ve purchased either online or from a brick-and-mortar store. Unfortunately, being such an enormous and varied industry, retail accounts for a huge amount of waste every year.

In fact, the retail industry in the USA alone produces roughly $2 billion worth of waste every single year. In Australia, the average shop creates 7.5m3 of waste for each employee, every single year. That’s a frightening amount, and something needs to be done. Thankfully, there are a number of steps that every retailer can take to reduce their waste output.

At Sydney City Rubbish, we take waste for all kinds of businesses around Sydney, including retail stores. We understand the value of a quality waste management system, and the importance of reducing waste, for a number of reasons. Here are some of the best tips for reducing waste in the retail industry.
What rubbish does the retail industry produce?

The rubbish and waste that the retail industry actually produces can be quite varied. However, there are a number of items that are incredibly common. The waste that we often see in stores around Sydney includes:

– Cardboard boxes and packaging
– Plastic packaging
– Old furniture
– Racks and shelving
– Floor finishes (ie carpet)
– Partitions and walls
– Clothing and excess store stock.

Some of these items can be recycled or reused, while others cannot. It’s essential to take a close look at your waste and see how you can reduce what you produce.What are the best ways to reduce retail waste?

Once you’ve recognised that there is a problem, and there’s more you can do, it’s time to start taking steps to reduce your retail waste.

A quality waste audit

A fantastic first step in the fight against rubbish is a waste audit. In essence, this means looking closely at what kind of waste your shop produces, roughly how much there might be, and the primary sources of this waste. When you record this information, you’re much better prepared to take meaningful action to reduce waste.

Getting your staff involved is also a great way to make sure the audit is more effective and contains all of the required information. After all, if you’re a manager or owner, you probably won’t be as closely associated with the day-to-day operations of the store as your on-floor employees. It’s also a great way to maintain strong relationships between employees and management.

Educating staff

Your staff are on the front line of the fight against waste. Arguably, it’s their decisions that have the greatest impact on your ability to deal with retail waste in the most sustainable manner. For example, it will probably be your floor staff cleaning out the storage room and deciding whether to place plastic and cardboard packaging into recycling bins, and landfill bins, or find another way to use these materials.

Management should be doing everything in their power to ensure that staff fully understand the impact of their actions, and how to reduce waste. This might include regular meetings where management informs staff of new processes and encourages staff to find creative ways to reuse items and to think hard before they throw materials into the bin.

Analyse your supply chain

Every retailer needs a reliable, sustainable, supply chain and supplier. It’s important that waste is reduced as early on in the supply chain as possible. Therefore, communicating with suppliers and asking them to minimise plastic packaging, for example, is a great way to ensure that waste isn’t produced in the first place.

Create and enforce an effective waste management policy

Every store needs a waste management policy. This kind of policy should inform all staff (and relevant customers) of what waste should be placed where. The policy must aim to reduce waste wherever possible and ensure that everything is at worst, recycled. Placing signage around the store, in staff rooms and storage areas is a great way to make sure that employees are aware of the policy at all times.

Think about the ‘Three R’s’

The Three R’s refers to reduce, reuse and repurpose. These are the foundational building blocks of a truly sustainable approach to waste management. Implementing this kind of attitude and approach to rubbish in your store will go a long way toward creating a more environmentally-friendly operation. If you are disposing of old racks and shelving for example, aim to give them away or sell them, instead of taking them to the tip. That’s a much better result and ensures the items themselves do not become waste.

Eco-friendly bags and products

Plastic bags have historically been a huge problem in Australia. Even now, after so many retailers have removed plastic bags entirely, plastic bags still form a significant amount of all the plastic waste found in Australia. Every retail store should eliminate plastic bags from their system entirely, and only use eco-friendly, reusable bags. This shift will help to greatly reduce the plastic waste produced by the retail industry in Sydney.

Work with Sydney rubbish removal experts

One of the best tips for any retail manager or store owner is to have a reliable, affordable rubbish removal service on-call. Sometimes, you need retail rubbish gone fast so that you can continue to operate as normal. Other times, there might be large amounts of waste filling your stock room and making life hard. An expert Sydney rubbish removal company will be able to remove your waste and help you ensure you’re able to reduce other waste types.Sydney retail rubbish removal today

At Sydney City Rubbish, we’re the experts in retail rubbish removal. We can swiftly and safely remove your rubbish, no matter how much waste you have or how difficult it might be to remove. We’re here to help, and we’ll even give you 10% off any written rubbish removal quote.

Get in touch with us today for more information.

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