Polystyrene recycling

4 March 2014 — The largest distribution centre in the southern hemisphere, Sydney Markets Limited, has won the Best Renewable Resources: Recycling award at the Global Sustainability Leadership Conference and Awards held in Mumbai, India.

The markets were selected from over 2500 international entries. Some of the strategies that made them stand out include a recycling program that has reduced the markets’ waste disposal costs by over $7 million since 2005.

The markets generate 20,000 tonnes of waste a year, with a resource recovery rate of 65 per cent in 2013, up from 17 per cent in 2005. Key measures include the operation of a green point facility for sorting of major waste streams – organics, cardboard/paper, timber, steel, plastic, polystyrene and concrete.

Organic waste is collected and processed into biogas and fertiliser, there is onsite polystyrene recycling at Sydney Markets Flemington, plastic film is recycled, and timber pallets are either reused or shredded for use as garden mulch. Recent initiatives have also been put in place to collect fluorescent tubes, light bulbs, batteries and e-waste.

In addition, Sydney Markets has introduced energy efficient lighting and sensor controlled light fittings, fitted smart water meters, implemented rainwater harvesting and storage for reuse, and undertaken retrofitting of public toilets to reduce water consumption.

“Sydney Markets is delighted to be recognised with this award on the global stage at the World CSR Congress,” Sydney Markets chief executive officer Brad Latham said. “This award validates our efforts to continuously improve by adopting initiatives that create more sustainable operations in partnership with our tenants, employees and partners.”