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Bin Trim: Glass Recycling for NSW's Glass Industry
19 June 2017
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Improved recycling options for our industry are critical in addressing this problem and it’s fantastic to see some government intervention on this issue.

Unfortunately, industrial-scale glass recycling in Australia is a long way behind the developed world. The technology required to effectively separate glass waste into clean material for valuable recycling is expensive.

The volume of material is also an important ingredient for a viable recycling industry and when transport costs in our vast country are factored in, the numbers just don’t stack up when compared with Europe and the United States.

This issue has been identified by the NSW EPA which launched the Bin Trim program to initially assess the waste materials in glass businesses in NSW.

In his role as NSW Glass and Glazing Association Vice-President, Express Glass’ Managing Director Adrian Grocott has been working closely with A.Price Consulting to launch the Bin Trim program across NSW.

“Sending a valuable and recyclable material such as glass to landfill on an industrial scale is a situation that needs to change,” said Adrian.  “Improved recycling options for our industry are critical in addressing this problem and it’s fantastic to see some government intervention on this issue. Express Glass are willing participants in the Bin Trim program and we look forward to finding solutions that make industrial glass recycling a viable industry in Australia.”

Besides Express Glass, A. Prince Consulting is working in partnership with 70 businesses that are members of the NSW Glass and Glazing AssociationSo far, waste assessments done with members show that there is in excess of 10,000 tonnes per year of plate and laminated glass that is currently being sent to landfill, of which the majority can be recycled if it is collected separately.

Dr Mark Jackson, Project Director of A.Prince Consulting Pty Ltd notes that programs like these can help identify gaps in the resource recovery chain and assist in identifying strategic investment opportunities for the recycling industry.

By working in partnership with businesses and industry organisations, we are gradually helping businesses manage their waste better while also helping the government reach these ambitious recycling targets. Although business waste recycling currently rests at 57%, to reach the 70% target by 2021, a further 1.1 million tonnes per year needs to be recycled. Our work with the Bin Trim program and with businesses is making progress towards this goal and helping to make recycling standard practice in businesses across NSW.

NSW businesses send more than 2.5 million tonnes of business waste to landfill each year. The good news is more than 70 per cent of this could be reused or recycled. Reducing waste is good for business – it can reduce costs, save time, build staff morale and enhance your corporate reputation. Generating less waste also saves valuable water, energy and raw materials. Reducing waste sent to landfill has environmental and economic benefits for the whole community.

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