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monthlies OnOffice July9

24 Sep 2019

Recycling and waste in the modern office

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Workplace design has transformed, open plan and agile workspaces have eclipsed closed offices and cubicles, and organisations are spending increasing amounts of time and money designing beautiful and functional workspaces. Yet decisions about waste are often neglected, leading to bins that are inconsistent with design or ugly bins that are hidden away in cupboards where they are ineffective.

Method have redesigned recycling and waste for the modern space. The brand's award-winning bins help buildings recycle more, and waste less. The bins are featured in leading facilities around the world including Foster + Partners, Qantas, the Design Council, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Xero and more.

The inspiration for the brand came to founders Steven and India Korner when they were driving around New Zealand selling generic bins out of the back of a van, and frequently saw businesses trying to recycle without the tools to succeed.

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The Korners spent three years mastering the Method 60L Recycling and Waste Bin. They held focus groups, prepared prototypes and even assisted cleaners on the night shift. This research paid off and the innovative bins are helping businesses recycle more, and waste less around the world. Westpac Bank in NZ reported a reduction from 70% of waste to landfill to 30% with Method bins.

Method is a design approach to recycling, resulting in a bin that is not only beautiful but can ultimately be behaviour changing. The design of the bins was carefully considered, with a 60-litre capacity optimal for most workplaces, and the choice of open or touch-to-open lids depending on the flow of rubbish, where they are located, and the frequency of collection. The bins connect together to form communal recycling stations based on a workplace's needs. This means the system is flexible and scalable with the needs of an organisation, with businesses able to add or remove streams as their needs change.

Changing behaviour across the office

The Method system can benefit users throughout a facility's waste process; cleaners spend less time servicing communal recycling stations instead of desk bins, fewer bins and liners need to be purchased, and through the visible recycling bins, organisations can assert their sustainability commitments. Waste service providers will also receive waste that has been accurately sorted at source.

Ultimately, visible and centralised recycling stations change the way people interact with their waste in a space, which is part of Method's principle of 'open-plan recycling'. This philosophy brings recycling out into the open-plan design of modern spaces. The removal of desk bins means that people are required to actively engage in their waste habits, and placing recycling bins next to the general waste bin makes recycling easier.

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Visibility also increases accountability as, even subconsciously, individuals are more likely to accurately sort their waste when the bins are out in the open where others can see. Employees may even then be motivated to change their behaviours at home, united by a larger purpose.

The future of sustainable design is a considered approach to modifying individual behaviours and ensuring that offices are set up to make sustainable actions the easier option. This requires top-down action and planning before, during and after a workplace is established.

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Recycling significantly reduces the impact of waste disposal, which is particularly important as consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to corporate social responsibility. Using Method's innovative recycling bins is one way to increase the sustainability of a space while complementing the modern aesthetic.

Fitting in with style

Australian design giant Canva has strong values around sustainability and reducing their impact on the environment. As a design company they create elegant industrial style offices with glass meeting rooms, concrete floors and large windows to let the light in. They were struggling to find a waste solution that was effective and beautiful for their offices, until they found Method.

Shamal Singh, Canva’s global office architect said, “Since finding Method, we now have a waste solution that complements our aesthetic, is clear to the team, neat and scalable for our fast-growing company. The hospitality staff have also found the bins easy to clean, re-line and maintain.”

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Find out more about the award-winning bins on Method's website

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