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Employee ideas come to life at the Melbourne Print Centre

10/07/2015 11:49 AM

Employees at the Melbourne Print Centre (MPC) have been taking lots of small steps to help implement big change to waste management and energy efficiency in everyday operations.  A national onsite training course with a sustainability module was offered to all print centre employees, and many new ideas were put forward by attendees.  These ideas were put in place throughout the year and have been embraced by staff and management.

IDEA 1: ORGANIC WASTE SOLUTIONS

Following a staff suggestion, the MPC has installed four raised veggie patches and a compost bin on site to prevent their organic waste from their canteen and other green waste from going to landfill (pictured above). Not only will this employee driven initiative reduce the site’s overall waste to landfill rate, it creates awareness of the site’s waste stream and improves engagement with the broader employee base on site. Engagement with the gardens and compost system has also shown print centre staff the ease and rewards of having organic waste solutions at their home.

IDEA 2: PLASTIC STRAPPING RECYCLING SOLUTIONS

The print centres sees hundreds of brochure, magazine and other inserts wrapped in plastic straps come through the production line each day. The staff at the print centre identified an opportunity to create a specific recycling system for these plastic straps in clear see-through waste frames. The transparent frames enable identification of the waste stream and segregation of the straps, allowing the straps to be recycled for the first time. This simple yet effective solution prevents contamination and grown staff engagement in improving the site’s overall recycling rate.

Strapping bin

These initiatives have helped the MPC to achieve a zero waste to landfill (> 90% diverted from landfill) rate in April and May 2015.

IDEA 3: LIGHTING EFFICIENCY INITIATIVES  

Two ideas for improving the efficiency of the lighting at the print centre were also put forward and implemented. New and accessible light switches were installed for the primary lighting in the Publishing Area to allow the lights to be switched off when certain areas are not in use.

Lighting in the office and car park areas were also made more efficient through the installation of EcoLight transformers that regulate lower voltage supply and use less energy. This initiative was a small investment with significant results, showing a 30% reduction in energy use for the lighting in these areas.

Switches

Melbourne Print Centre has shown leadership by implementing these employee driven initiatives and is an excellent example of how small steps can add up to big changes to the environmental performance and efficiency of a site.