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Case study: Improving Waste Outcomes at Major Australian Marketplace

GJK is providing more efficient and transparent waste management delivery and a safer workplace through fit-for-purpose equipment.

GJK Case Study:
Improving Waste Management Outcomes at Major Australian Marketplace

Market Waste

With our waste partners, we formulated waste minimisation strategies and devised a multi-pronged plan to tackle waste challenges at the Market.

The Customer, Situation and Need

GJK commenced a contract to deliver cleaning and waste services to a major market in Victoria in late 2021. The Market has over 200 traders who provide a wide range of seasonal produce and supports small local businesses.

Our cleaning services cover sweeping, scrubbing, pressure washing, graffiti removal, glass cleaning and bin washing across the premises. GJK waste services include waster portering, storage/segregation, removal from site and waste minimization initiatives.

The Market produces a high level of waste from its 200 traders, including general waste, cardboard, organics and meat/fish offal.  While there were waste stream bins around the premises, initial analysis by GJK and our waste partners revealed three main barriers to achieving high recycling rates:

  1. Bin Usage: Bins around the Market were used interchangeably and busy tenants simply used the closest one to them, with little regard for waste streams. Bins also remained full for too long, resulting in retailers using any bin available.
  2. Education: There was little education on what materials belonged were, leading to contamination. There was also confusion around recyclable items and who to go to for waste information.
  3. Behaviors & Attitudes: Busy traders reported time restraints on disposing of waste properly, with many variations of language and culture to understanding the correct waste protocols and little oversight into DMs recycling goals.

Before GJK commenced the contract, there was insufficient customer insight into the Market’s recycling and no clear or accurate reporting.

Desired Outcome

The Market set an ambitious 5-year target to improve recycling year-on-year across the premises. GJK was asked to achieve a 70% recycling rate in 2021/22, improving this metric by 5% every year, with a target of 85% recycling by 2027.

The Market wanted to improve its sustainability and waste credentials by engaging experienced cleaning and waste providers who could implement effective waste minimization strategies and manage better waste outcomes at the Market. They required a strategic waste plan to achieve these outcomes and have complete transparency over waste at their premises with regular reporting.

GJK Solution

GJK partnered with waste providers to formulate waste minimisation strategies and devised a multi-pronged plan to tackle the challenges of waste at the Market. Since the contract began in September 2021, GJK has implemented the following solutions:

Consistent Bin Locations and Instructional Signage:
We have ensured consistent bin locations, using colour-coded markings across the Market. Bins are accompanied by instructional signage around what can and cannot be placed into each waste stream. This familiarity, consistency and education encourage separation. GJK cleaning operatives are trained on this system so it can be policed daily across the Market.

Equipment Investment:
We invested in fit-for-purpose waste equipment to improve the efficiency and safety of the waste operation. We implemented new general waste and cardboard compactors to speed up the process of waste disposal, compact the waste more efficiently and remove the manual handling process for our staff.We also implemented a new Tug for easier bin collection and smarter waste handling across the marketplace. Tugs pick up three-five bins at a time, allowing our operatives to tow the bins and do the waste collection more quickly and safely.

Simplifying Plastics and Co-mingled recycling:
We have changed soft plastic bins into soft plastic bags. These are located in the loading dock for cleaner separation and within areas of high soft plastic generation. Through a differentiated collection system, clear messaging and transparent containers, we anticipate increased compliance and lower contamination through soft plastics.

Waste Recovery and Repurposing:

  • Recycling material from waste streams is sent to specialist facilities for recovery and reuse:
  • Cardboard and paper are transported to Australian Paper Recovery (APR)
  • Fish and meat offal are transported to CSF Proteins for pet food and by-products
  • Timer is recycled into wood chips
  • Organics is transported to ReWaste – a food-to-electricity plant that uses aerobic digestion to create energy that powers homes in the local Wollert area. GJK has donated enough organic waste from the Market to power 24 homes per month!

Bintracker for monitoring and reporting:
We have implemented the Bintracker software solution at the Market to track and report on waste streams. Using the Bintracker app, GJK cleaners scan QR codes on bins across the Market before being removed. This captures the waste stream type and cleaners then weigh the bins using the integrated digital scales before depositing them into the appropriate waste compactors for collection.Data captured regarding the weight and waste type is sent, in real-time to the Bintracker app, which is collated producing detailed and reliable data on waste disposal quantity and composition anywhere across the facility. With unprecedented transparency into a facility’s waste production, the Market now has an in-depth understanding of their waste and comprehensive reporting.

Solutions for 2022

To enhance waste outcomes, GJK will implement further waste solutions in 2022.These include:

A robust communication strategy:
We have plans to implement a thorough communication strategy aimed at increasing education and altering tenant behavior. The communication strategy focuses on:

  • Correct Use
  • Recycling Outcomes
  • Recycling Results
  • Public Promotion

Some of the digital communications include using the Emitto text messaging system to retailers to deliver relevant, engaging messaging and inform them on correct disposal, overall recycling goals and outcomes. We will also use text to send a series of ‘Understand Your Waste’ Videos for further education.

There will also be a range of static communication, including printed hand-out collateral and signage at bins and highly, visible locations.

Location Tracking with Bin Tracker:

GJK’s use of Bintracker will expand to include location tracking. This feature will hold tenants more accountable for the waste they produce and contaminations found. We will also use Bintracker data in our digital and static communications to inform tenants on the Market’s recycling progress as a whole and by location, to motivate behavioral change.


With only a couple of months into the contract, GJK is on track to realise the Market’s goal of a 70% recycling rate in 2021/2022. Over September and October 2021, GJK achieved 67.5% recycling across the market and was able to confidently report on waste stream recycling rates, thanks to Bintracker.

In contract infancy, GJK is already providing more efficient waste management delivery and a safer workplace through fit-for-purpose equipment. We have also begun the education process through signage at consistent bin locations and have improved the soft plastics recycling process. We are mindfully repurposing the waste into new products and services, helping to achieve the Market’s social procurement goals.

Through our implementation of Bintracker, the Markets’ goal of obtaining full transparency into its waste disposal has been realized. We have implemented a decisive waste strategy plan tto help overcome the barriers to tenant recycling in the years ahead, including a robust communications strategy and accountability through Bin Tracker.

GJK and our waste partners quickly implemented a comprehensive waste management solution that understood the Markets’ challenges and met their needs. So far, our strategies have proven to make tangible differences in the Market’s waste outcomes, which we anticipate improving further as we roll out more solutions in 2022.