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WPA Office Recycling Project

McConnell Dowell is the constructor of the Western Program Alliance, delivering part of the Victorian State government’s ambitious Level Crossing Removal Project.

Continue reading to hear Western Program Alliance’s Environment & Sustainability Advisor Daisy Lippiatt talk about their journey with waste reduction.

On the Alliance, we aim to reduce, reuse and recycle office and site materials in innovative ways across the projects. The office recycling program is just one of the initiatives we’ve started to reduce waste across our projects.

The Western Program Alliance aimed to achieve the highest level of Waste-2 ISCA rating, Level 3, with a target of diverting 60% of office waste.

Since construction started on Werribee Street, Cherry Street and Old Geelong Road Level Crossing Removal Projects, the team started a recycling and education program to gradually implement up to 10 office recycling streams. Across the sites, we recycle organics, paper/cardboard, commingled, soft plastics, polystyrene, aerosols, ink cartridges, e-waste, batteries and coffee cups!

As you can see in Figure 1 below, these Projects are now exceeding their 60% office waste diversion target!

Stream Breakdown 01 Figure 1: The Office Recycling Program's Waste Breakdown

The success of this recycling program can be largely attributed to continual improvements in response to user feedback. It was identified very early in the program that we needed clear, concise and professional signage to encourage people to participate in the recycling program and reduce confusion.

We had seen Method bin stations at another building and thought that they aligned with the professional and sustainable component of our goal. We engaged Method, who customised their product range to suit our current problem - signage. While we had already purchased most of our bins across the sites, Method helped us retain these resources and produce new customised signage to place above existing bins.

Method tailored the signage to suit our site's largest common waste contaminants and designed a product that was not only effective to convey our message, was also durable to cleaning products and easily adhered to a range of surfaces.

We installed the Method signage across the sites in November 2020, and as you can see in the Figure below, it has helped us achieve above-target office waste diversion despite impacts on targets related to COVID-19. Not only does this reduce our ecological footprint and contribute toward our company ISCA credit, but it also reduces project costs on waste disposal.

WPA Waste Diversion from Landfill Figure 2: The WPA waste diversion now exceeds the highest level of ISCA Waste-2 ISCA rating for level 3

Education is critical to maintaining this recycling program, but it can be a lot of work. One of the key goals is making sure the program is seen as a positive thing that is helping individuals contribute to a bigger cause. At the end of the day, we give them the tools, but it's everyone's contribution – they’re the ones that make the difference.

We hope that the staff and crew take their knowledge of recycling home with them and they improve their habits there too! With ongoing education we’ve found it stops being something we do, and becomes a part of who we are. Discussing the latest recycling news and recycled products available to incorporate into the Project build, such as recycled soft plastic products.


At Method, we love working with organisations like the Western Program Alliance who are committed to making a difference. They have a passionate team that cares about making a difference and how that benefits the environment, their team and their business.

The Western Program Alliance has done an amazing job, and we’re happy to be able to be a part of their journey!