Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club at Shellharbour, just south of Wollongong, is one of the largest bowling clubs in Australia and has a membership of over 20,000.
With support from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Bin Trim Program, Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club has dramatically reduced the amount of waste it sends to landfill, boosted recycling levels and reaped substantial financial savings.
As well as investing in the club’s future through the renovation, managers and members also wanted to invest in sustainable practices across the organisation. The staff in particular, championed the idea of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.
A team of staff worked with a Bin Trim waste assessor to evaluate the club’s waste processes and find solutions to problems. The Bin Trim assessment identified a number of waste processes needing improvement, such as glass, cardboard and green-waste recycling, and recycling within the holiday cabins. However, food waste was the key challenge.
Food waste is a common problem for businesses like Warrilla Bowls and Recreation Club, with food often ending up in landfill and producing methane, a greenhouse gas around 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. As well as being a serious environmental problem, food waste costs money and wastes precious resources.
One of the common problems with managing food waste is limited space in busy kitchens that are not necessarily designed for multiple recycling bins.
Following recommendations by the Bin Trim assessor, the club hired a food- processing machine that converts food into a pulp slurry for external recycling. Using a Bin Trim rebate, the club purchased slim-line bins for separating and collecting food waste. The new bins are colour-coded and clearly signed so separating the waste is a quick and easy task for kitchen staff.
In addition to sorting the food waste problem, the club purchased mixed recycling bins for the holiday cabins and adopted improved cardboard and bottle recycling processes across the organisation.
"Engage your staff – they are the ones that have to drive the change and reduce your food waste. This cuts your waste bill and helps the environment. It’s win-win for everyone.’ Dan Morris, Operations Manager, Warrilla Bowls and Recreation Club
Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club has been able to implement an all-encompassing recycling system, yielding outstanding and ongoing results: