Awards for resource recovery project in multi-unit dwellings

We’re proud to announce that the Resource Recovery of Problem Waste at MUDs (Multi-Unit Dwellings) project has won two awards at this year’s Local Government Excellence in the Environment awards.


The two awards are:

  • Winner in Category C (70, 000+ population) for Community Waste Services
  • Overall category winner for Community Waste Services


The project originated from the former Canterbury Council’s objective to increase recycling rates, driven by the NSW Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy (2014-2021) recycling targets.


Following a waste audit of MUDs it was identified that many recyclable items were ending up in general waste bins or were being dumped in common areas. These items included
polystyrene, soft plastics, e-waste, mattresses and clothing. It was also found that large volumes of cardboard and polystyrene were being generated at new MUDs when tenants moved in simultaneously.


Council engaged with tenants and the wider community to help identify the objectives of the project. There was unanimous support for new recycling initiatives, and more specifically the community wanted Council to be innovative, improve simple recycling infrastructure with visual signage and to reach out to culturally diverse residents.


Significant attention was given to selecting the right infrastructure. Blue 660L bins were provided for e-waste, metal cage bins for clothing, metal stands with large plastic bags for polystyrene and soft plastic, and stacking space for cardboard. These dedicated recycling collection points were communicated via signage in common areas following feedback from residents about the preferred methods.


The project serviced 16 MUDs, including two new MUDs, each containing over 200 units over a three year period. Cleanaway’s municipal and commercial teams have played an integral role in the project’s success.


Cleanaway Resource Recovery Officer, Dusko Borota, said it was great to work so closely with Council and residents to deliver this project.


“By keeping up the conversation with residents, building managers and cleaners throughout the project, we were able to learn as we went and continue to tailor the solution to maximise recycling rates.


“It’s so encouraging to see that source separation is achievable with the right collaboration, engagement and infrastructure.”


The following outcomes were achieved through the trial:

  1. 10 new multi-unit dwellings during moving in phase diverted from landfill; 7,850kg of bulky cardboard, 955kg of soft plastics and 1,040kg of polystyrene.
  2. 16 multi-unit dwellings during the 21-month period diverted from landfill; 10,660kg of bulky cardboard, 740kg of soft plastic, 940kg of polystyrene, 9,300kg of e-waste, 4,210kg of clothing and 50 mattresses.
  3. Reduced contamination rates in general waste and recycling bin.
  4. Intangible benefit: Improved compaction rates in general waste and recycling trucks and improved bin access and servicing.