Waste education programs

1. Bin Trim program

You can reduce your business waste through a free waste assessment to help you identify simple actions and innovative solutions.

Small or medium sized businesses may be eligible for a free waste assessment through the NSW EPA’s Bin Trim program.

Program objectives

The program is designed to:

  • reduce your waste disposal costs
  • save money on bin collection services
  • increase the efficiency of your business
  • help access further grants
  • reduce your impact on the environment

The data is entered into the bin trim tool and will produce: 

  • a profile of your businesses current waste and recycling practices
  • a tailored action plan to reduce your waste
  • advice about reducing, re-using and recycling for your business 

You can select from four local assessment providers to help you with your business waste audit in the Byron Shire.

1. Richmond Waste - Michael Barnes (02) 6674 765

2.Cool Planet - Colin George 1300 687 888  

3. Cleanaway

2. Love Food Hate Waste

We are a partner of The Love Food Hate Waste program.

Together with our regional waste education coordinators, North East Waste, we support households and businesses to reduce their food waste through better meal plans, smarter shopping and more effective food storage.

Love Food Hate Waste aims to raise awareness about the environmental, economic and social impacts of food waste in NSW and reduce the amount of good food being sent to landfill.

The program is run by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and delivered in partnership with NSW businesses, not-for-profit organisations, local councils and community groups who share a commitment to reducing food waste.

Get involved

3. Waste Wise Schools Challenge

Our Waste Wise Schools Challenge is a free program open to all local primary schools and involves a number of interactive learning activities designed to teach students about the importance of sustainable waste management practices at school and at home. 

The aim of the Challenge is to complete all of the activities below and demonstrate your school's waste wise achievements by creating and submitting a short film.

What's involved?

1. Complete a waste audit and develop a waste reduction action plan with Council's Waste Education Officer.

2. Excursion to Lismore's Recycling and Recovery Centre to see what happens to your waste, recycling and organics.

3. Host a Waste Wise School Tour - do a follow up waste audit and show us what your school has achieved throughout the school year. 

4. Create a short film - demonstrate your achievements and show us why you should be the Challenge winners. 

5. Make a recycled sculpture. 

Why should your school get involved?

  • Empower students to take positive action for good waste management through experiential learning.
  • It’s fun, creative and there are great prizes to be won!
  • See first hand what happens to our organic, recyclable and landfill waste with an excursion to the Lismore recycling facility.
  • The Program aligns with the school curriculum so it is relevant to your classroom learning.
  • Excellent leadership opportunities for older students to educate younger students.
  • There are only 1-2 activities per term so it’s manageable with other priorities.

4. The dirty dozen

The dirty dozen: 12 rules for your yellow recycling bin aims to explain 12 additional ‘rules’ for the yellow bin to match the capabilities of Lismore’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) which is where Byron Shire's kerbside recycling is sent for processing.

Changing your recycling habits is pretty easy, take some time to learn the rules and before you know it they will be second nature.

  1. Bag the bag: You can recycle all soft plastic packaging including plastic bags, clean cling wrap, frozen vegie bags, pasta and biscuit packets etc. Place it all in a bag, tie it up and put it in your recycling bin.
  2. Broken glass and crockery OK: Pyrex, drinking glasses, crockery and window glass are now accepted in your recycling bin along with glass bottles and jars. No windscreens please.
  3. No strings attached: String, rope and electrical cable can become tangled around the MRF machinery, hindering the recycling process. Please do not place these items in your recycling bin.
  4. No need to wash: Recyclable containers need to be empty and free of food but they don’t need to be washed. Save time and elbow grease.
  5. Clean polystyrene: Clean, white polystyrene can now be placed in your recycling bin. Put it in a plastic bag and tie it up. Please no bean bag beans.
  6. Leave the label: The labels on bottles and containers wash off during the recycling process. There is no need to remove them. 
  7. Keep it loose: Place recyclables into the bin loose not stacked inside one another or in plastic bags. (This excludes polystyrene and soft plastics.
  8. Harden up: You can place all hard plastics in your recycling bin regardless of whether they display the triangle or not. This includes plastic tableware, toys and plant pots.
  9. Grab a satchel: Grab a Resource Recovery Collection Satchel for household batteries, reading glasses, corks, X-rays, CDs and DVDs, mobile phones and accessories, printer cartridges, small electronics, electrical cords and smoke alarms.
  10. No food please: Food and food-spoiled paper and cardboard items such as pizza boxes and paper towel do not belong in your recycling bin. Please put these items in your green organics bin.
  11. Put a lid on it: You can now leave the lids on all your recyclables. Put the lids back on your plastic bottles and containers, glass jars and bottles (including twist tops) and put them in your recycling bin.
  12. Every little bit counts: Place all small plastics such as bread tags and straws in an empty milk bottle, put the lid on and place in your recycling bin. They are too small for the MRF machinery to remove on their own but are still a valuable resource.

5. Second Hand Saturday

Second Hand Saturday, the biggest day of garage sales across the North Coast of NSW, is on Saturday 23 September!

Get involved and hold your own garage sale at home, or coordinate a joint garage sale in your street with your local school, community group or church.

For more information or to register your garage sale go to the Second Hand Saturday website.

6. Home composting and worm farming

Composting and worm farming are easy and environmentally friendly ways to recycle your household food scraps and to prevent this valuable resource form going to landfill. Take a few minutes to watch these videos and find out how easy it is to set up and manage your own system. The best part is you can produce an amazing product to use on your garden!

We sell subsidised compost bins and worm farms (that are featured in the videos) at the Byron Resource Recovery Centre:

 - 220 litre on ground home compost bin - $47

- Worm farm - $70


7. Plastic Free Byron - Make the Switch

We have partnered with Plastic Free Byron and The Boomerang Alliance to reduce single-use plastics in Byron Shire through our Make the Switch Program.

What is make the Switch?

Make the Switch is a community project to reduce Byron's plastic footprint. Our focus is working directly with food businesses and the community to help them switch to more sustainable packaging options.

We are aiming for a reduction - leading to elimination - of the top six single-use plastic items found in the litter stream: water bottles, straws, coffee cups, takeaway containers, foodware and plastic bags. 

All of these items have reusable or compostable alternatives, our job is to work with businesses to show them what the alternatives are and how they can easily access them. 

How does the program work?

Joining is easy and it's free for any food business, event and market in the Byron Shire. Once you have joined, the team will get in contact with you to help you remove the six key single-use plastic items. The program is hands on and the team will work directly with every member. 

We recognise and promote all members and their achievements and those who complete all identified actions become "Plastic Free Champions.'

Individuals can also sign up, support the business members and reduce their own plastic footprint.

Sign up on the Plastic Free Byron website today

What are the benefits?

- Access to information and resources.

- Access to our team who can work directly with you to identify the right actions and alternative products. 

- A listing on the Plastic Free Byron website and direct promotion to the community.

- Access to material to display to your customers to let them know about the great changes you have made.

- Opportunities for free promotion on Plastic Free Byron's social media channels, and through our partner networks.