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Case Study: Bunnings Retail, Nationwide | Solution for Waste & Recycling and Education

Case Study- Bunnings Retail, Nationwide

Bunnings Group, trading as Bunnings Warehouse, is an international household hardware chain. The chain is owned by the Wesfarmers Group, a retail company operating in Australia and New Zealand.

Bunnings specialises in supplying home improvement and outdoor living products throughout Australia and New Zealand. Bunnings operates out of 54 trading locations in New Zealand and employs more than 54,000 team members across Australia and New Zealand.

In 2008, Bunnings was the first retailer in New Zealand to remove plastic shopping bags for customer use. Since then, they have consistently encouraged customers to bring their own shopping bags or to reuse the cardboard boxes at the front of store.

Waste Management has been providing waste, recycling, and hazardous waste management services for Bunnings 54 sites nationally since October 2018. Best practice advice and solutions that have been provided from our National Sustainability Partner have include:

Our Waste Management team have worked in partnership with Bunnings’ key stakeholders and individual stores to gain a comprehensive understanding of waste problems faced by their stores.

Challenges

Bunnings knew they had a lot of waste coming from their stores. Their objective was to identify the amount of recyclable product going into their general waste and find repurposing/recycling solutions. This was a priority for their business.

Solutions

Waste Management conducted store audits on four Bunnings stores, a DC, and a Return Centre to get a better understanding of the waste being generated. From the findings of the audit, Waste Management offered additional waste separation services and training to Bunnings staff. A waste trial was implemented that consisted of using special waste separation bins for general waste, wood, plastic wrap, and cardboard, creating a culture of separation at source. These bins were used to assist staff with the waste separation process when unpacking goods i.e., at the source of waste generation.

Our waste diversion objectives were driven by Bunnings’ Head Office. Bunnings are on a trajectory to improve resource recovery. The challenge in the past has been communicating the same information across their wide staff base. Bunnings are considering implementing training for staff in stores on waste separation.

Outcome

Our initiatives have resulted in Bunnings improving their recovery of recyclable materials.

The initiative implementation process was led and managed by the National Account Manager and National Sustainability Partner working with Store Managers and the Bunnings leadership team.

The waste separation trial proved very successful, and Bunnings are now interested in rolling this out on wider scale, including trialing food separation and mixed recycling solutions for their in-store cafes.