Workplace Waste

Recycling in the workplace © Planet Ark

Commercial and industrial waste is any waste generated by a business or organisation in the course of carrying out its activities.

The Problem

About 12.5 million tonnes of C&I waste is produced each year.

  • The amount of C&I waste generated in Australia between 2002-03 and 2006-07 increased by 52% (68).
  • At 36%, food, garden, timber and other biodegradable waste make up the biggest component of C&I waste sent to landfill, with paper and cardboard coming in second at 22%.
  • Food waste is particularly problematic for the C&I sector because it often contaminates paper, cardboard and plastic waste, making it difficult to recycle these materials.

The Revolution

71% of people said that having access to recycling facilities at work makes them/would make them feel like they work for a responsible employer.

  • Between 2002-03 and 2006-07, the recycling of C&I waste increased by 92%.
  • The growth of corporate social responsibility in the past decade has seen many businesses implement waste minimisation and resource recovery programs to reduce the risk of environmental harm and improve their reputation and profile.
  • There are now many commercial services that collect and recycle waste from businesses. There are also industry-led, free programs available for some items including: 'Cartridges 4 Planet Ark' for toner and ink jet cartridges; MobileMuster for mobile phones; and, for small to medium busineses e-waste programs like TechCollect.

Join the Revolution!

recycling at work

  • Become a recycling champion in your workplace! Find out how to set up a new recycling system at work, or promote an existing one, by visiting You'll be able to download a step-by-step toolkit to help you get started.

You can download the full Recycling Revolution Report below.