Cleanaway and Petbarn creating massive increases in recycling efficiency

A proactive approach to waste management has enabled Petbarn Australia to achieve significant recycling goals. Since awarding Cleanaway its national recycling contract, the focus was how it could best make sustainable use of its waste at its more than 150 stores across the country. The program was taken on, not just because Cleanaway are helping them do something positive for the environment, but we’re also helping them save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as a result.


Prior to appointing us to help with their waste management, Petbarn recycled cardboard and nothing else. Cleanaway conducted an audit of a general waste bin, essentially sorting – by hand – what was going into Petbarn waste bins. It was identified that nearly half of the contents of its general waste bins could be recycled if it were sorted and collected using the appropriate bins.


The next step was to implement an innovative reporting function across all stores. The aim was to track recycling percentages, service schedule efficiency and find the ‘big offenders’ – stores with the heaviest amount of waste – and therefore the most expensive. Thirty sample stores were selected and then targeted during a series of comprehensive audits.


One of the major findings was that a new organics stream was needed to recycle wet and dry pet food, particularly fresh meat products like kangaroo, lamb and beef. This allowed Petbarn to further separate and reduce general waste going to landfill. The fresh meat was diverted to a plant in Sydney that converts it into green energy and nutrient rich fertilizer.


In the first 12 months that Cleanaway worked with Petbarn, the volume of waste recycled jumped from 57 tonnes to 82.9 tonnes per month. A total of 1642.1 tonnes of waste was removed in that time, with a total recycling rate of 44.6 per cent. An exceptional result and a clear demonstration of how Cleanaway, and Petbarn, can help make a sustainable future possible.