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eThe Method Recycling System Explained

Method began with the belief that design could have an impact on workplace recycling. That there were many businesses with the right intentions without the tools to do the right thing.

Now, 6 years later Method has helped organisations around the world to improve their waste and recycling. Including the historical Sydney Cricket Ground, the HQ of world-renowned British architecture firm Foster + Partners, to The Office Group’s beautiful flexible workspaces.

How does the Method System work?

The Method System is a family of bins and accessories that help your organisation to recycle more and waste less. Starting with a collection of beautiful bins that meet local requirements or customisable, add in signage, connectors, a desktop waste and recycling solution and finally a commitment to making a difference.


The power of consistency

Colour-coded bins for every space, Method’s beautiful sixty and twenty-litre bins create flexible recycling stations that can be placed consistently throughout your space. By removing desk bins, or lone general waste bins you remove easy general waste options. Instead, you give users the opportunity to do the right thing every time they need to dispose of a piece of waste.

At the same time, the colour-coded bins consistently help to build an unconscious association between recyclables and the correct bin for them to go into.

The Method Sixty Litre bins are for large open plan spaces such as the office floor, event spaces or the hallway. While the Twenty Litre Bins are for smaller shared spaces such as the meeting rooms, studios, reception - or anywhere you’d find a lone general waste bin. We have a more detailed Bin Placement Guide you can download here.

Recycling Bin Signs

Recycling is confusing, and even confident recyclers can get it wrong sometimes, so our vertical recycling signs stand proudly behind the bins helping users to accurately separate their waste. Alternatively, if you don’t have space behind your bins, full front vinyl labels can be applied to the front of the bins.

Recycling bin signage plays a big part in education and behaviour change that translate into serious results. Particularly in reducing contamination rates so that your recyclables are clean and well separated.

BINS 7519 NZ

Method Connectors

Method Connectors lock bins into place side-by-side, back-to-back or to a wall. This keeps bins in place and stops cleaners from having to rearrange them - particularly useful in high traffic areas. The connectors are also used to attach the vertical signage to the back of the bins for a free-standing station.

Method Precyclers

Removing desk bins is a simple and effective way to reduce waste to landfill, Method Precyclers are an answer to a desk waste solution. The two Precyclers are placed together on the desktop to encourage the separation of waste before emptying into the nearest recycling station. Precyclers also eliminates the need for excessive plastic liners - reducing your cleaning bill.

Customer Hero - McConnell Dowell

Industry-leading construction company McConnell Dowell implemented a 5-stream solution across their WPA project sites in Australia. Complete with vertical signage, McConnell Dowell invested in ensuring that they had set it up to get the best results.

Within the first week of rolling out a 5-bin system, their waste to landfill was reduced by approximately 80%. In particular, the customised signage above the bins, education and encouragement around recycling has exceeded expectations. The intuitive bins have reduced contamination rates to an incredible 2%.

Waste to Landfill Costs

Waste can often be seen as a fixed expense - a necessary evil, but often recycling effectively can help you to reduce your waste bill. Particularly as waste levies continue to rise and incentives such as container deposit schemes continue to grow in support.

Working with the Australian National Maritime Museum not only have they saved recyclables moving to a Method System, but they’re also going to reduce the cost of their waste disposal long term. It’s an investment to get the system implemented, but they project estimated savings of around $22,000 per year.

Made in New Zealand

Method’s bins are proudly designed and made in New Zealand. Making our products in New Zealand is important to us. It gives us control over the type of energy used during production, the quality of materials and the production processes used.

Product + System Design

More than your ordinary bin, Method’s bins are designed to meet the needs of all those in an organisation’s waste and recycling process - from the CEO, to users to the cleaners.

Specifically, in the design process of the Method Sixty, co-founder Steven Korner worked night shifts with cleaners to understand their needs. From this, the patented Bag Retainer System was born. It’s designed to lock liners in place and hide them from sight. This makes the bins quick and easy to change as the liners aren’t going to fall down into the bins, while keeping your Method bins looking clean and today.

Method bins are made from pure polypropylene (PP) or #5 plastic, this is due to the strength and durability of the materials. PP also worked with the injection moulding process that means Method’s bins are designed to last a long time and are fully sealed at the bottom to prevent any potential for leaks or spillages. Further, all of the bins are fully recyclable in a circular fashion, being able to be made into new bins at the end of their long life.

When Method began our bins were made out of virgin materials, a decision not made lightly. As a business, we believe it's important to consider the end of the life of the product during the design phase. By keeping the materials virgin we were able to ensure that the bins could be recycled at the end of their life.

Recycled Materials

In 2019 we managed to find a one-off post-industrial source to incorporate into the bases of our bins, and now a plastic ‘cowboy’ who had a source of PP that is consistent in quality and volume that our Sixty Litre Bins are made from 50% recycled materials.

After this, we began the design process for the Method Twenty. With all that we had learnt over the years, we were able to design the product and tools to mean that the black components of the Twenty are 100% post-consumer, NZ sourced recycled materials.

The biggest barrier we face now is the coloured components of our bins, these require a clean source of clear PP. However, we continue to work with others in the industry and government agencies to find a source of quality and plentiful materials that we can use.

Product Stewardship - End of Life Solutions

As we mentioned, we believe that the end of life for a product we design and manufacture matters.

While we’re a recycling bin manufacturer we believe in reuse before recycling, as well as giving back to organisations doing good work. So when we receive bins back that are no longer needed we refurbish them and donate them to well-meaning organisations - such as kindergartens, environmental organisations and charities. This happens in all of our locations - New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

In New Zealand bins that are broken beyond repair are sent back to our manufacturer for recycling. In Australia and the UK, this is all a little more difficult, as we don’t want to have them returned to NZ; this would generate wasted delivery costs and travel emissions. Further, as we’re still working out of co-working spaces, we don’t have an effective place to store the bins. However, we’re working closely with recyclers in these spaces to organise the reception and recycling of end of life bins.

Learn more about our product stewardship here.

AWADS The Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari crew with their refurbished bins

Let's make it easy for everyone to do the right thing

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Anne Marie Bonneau, Zero Waste Chef

Here at Method we live and breathe this concept, and the office is the perfect example. Individual behaviours often have a bigger impact than we think they do but if we can set up the infrastructure for tens or hundreds of people to get it almost right we can move the needle in a big way.

Especially when we consider the knock-on effects workplace change can have on the way people act at home or in public spaces.

In one of our latest articles, you can learn about some of the initiatives we use to divert over 90% of our waste to landfill in Method HQ here.

Time to make a change?

Is it time your organisation shook up the way you recycle? One of our team would love to set up a consultation around your needs and share our knowledge. You can co

Time to make a change?

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