Sep—13

Recycling and Waste at Method HQ

Here at Method we hire great people, and recycling skills aren’t necessarily a prerequisite.

In this journal, we’ll take a transparent look at our recycling systems and how we educate and motivate people in our small but mighty office. Our other offices in Auckland, Sydney and London currently are working out of co-working spaces so this article will focus just on our HQ in Wellington.

Method Wellington HQ
Image from i OS 47
What bins do you have?

This is Method’s HQ, currently, home to 18 team members spread between the main office and the R&D lab.

We have a Method Recycling Station in the main kitchen as you can see, comprised of 5 streams currently - landfill, organics, paper, plastics + cans, and glass. Soon we will be adding back our soft plastic bin as the soft plastic scheme returns to Wellington! We also have a landfill and a paper bin in the R&D lab.

This means that all staff are less than a 10-second walk from a recycling station. In addition, all desks are decked out with a set of desktop precyclers.

How often are they emptied?

We don’t produce a significant amount of waste or recycling so we only empty our bins once a week on Wednesdays. We have a touch lid on the organics and landfill bin to control odours and this has never been a concern.

How much waste + recycling do you produce?

Each week before the cleaners come and collect the waste one of the sustainability team weigh the waste on a standard set of scales. On average we produce the following amounts in a week:

Grid 52

Lately, our diversion from landfill is actually going down, but we see this as a good thing! While we sell recycling bins we wholeheartedly believe in reducing and reusing before recycling. Lately, we have been implementing more initiatives to reduce the use of single-use packaging by staff. Including:

  • Having glass food containers by the door for the team to grab as they go out for lunch
  • Everyone is provided with a Method reusable coffee cup
  • New starters are gifted a zero-waste starter kit
  • General education and discussion about how single-use packaging can be avoided

With the soft plastics scheme returning to Wellington next month we anticipate our diversion will improve significantly. Our goal is to one day reach 99% diversion from landfill, and we’re certainly on the right track.

What barriers do we face?

Compared to most, we have it pretty easy. While it isn’t a prerequisite to be interested in recycling for some of our roles, most people become swept up with our mission and become passionate. It’s also easier to implement and monitor these practices in a smaller organisation, and we do recommend larger organisations have a team or third party that regularly monitor these processes and any resulting issues.

In saying this, we still have the same issues as any other organisation that outsources cleaning services. There was some confusion around when our waste was collected and how it’s put out. There was a period of time at the beginning of this year where we were unsure if our organics were being put out correctly and therefore being collected by our composter.

This was resolved through communication with our cleaners and we set up a clear system that worked for both parties.

If you're looking to make some changes in your workplace check out our resources and journals that are full of news and practical advice.

Ready to get the bins and improve your recycling rates?