Best practice strategies to reduce the waste produced daily in buildings include:
Planning for waste as a material flow:
If the building is not planned so that it is easy for the staff to manage materials, waste will not stay separated until it is collected. Design considerations include:
- Calculating the likely volume of all waste streams the facility will generate. This can be done through use of the waste calculator tool.
- Designing adequate storage space for all waste streams, and considering shared storage space in multi-tenant buildings.
- Consideration of staff procedures – routes taken and containers used.
Separating waste for diversion:
Making it easy and convenient to dispose of all daily waste streams helps occupants separate materials.Design considerations include:
- Clear visual cues and signage, consistent throughout building.
- Opportunities for feedback to encourage behavior change.
Reducing material usage:
Could design measures allow reduction of material usage? Design considerations include:
- Shared services or libraries so occupants can borrow items rather than own them.
- Providing dishwashers in dining spaces to allow the use of reusable dishware.
- Reducing food waste generation through design of food service spaces
- Incorporating financial incentives to reduce waste.
Reducing the volume of waste set out for collection:
Large volumes of waste are difficult to handle and impact public space. Food waste is 90% water, and its volume can be reduced greatly by pretreatment, which also reduces odors. Design considerations include:
- Providing balers and compactors to reduce the volume of cardboard and other materials.
- Organic waste pretreatment equipment.
See the Zero Waste Design Guidelines Best Practice Strategies for Building Design for more details