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Waste management operations refresh pays dividends at QIC retail centres

REMONDIS Australia // 1 November 2020


QIC centre managers use swipe cards to understand tenant’s waste management


Compactor pressure sensors trigger collection when required


REMONDIS’ education officer provides training and support for tenants


A multi-billion dollar retail asset portfolio presents some complex waste management challenges.

QIC owns and manages a ~$17 billion portfolio of retail real estate assets across Australia, on behalf of its clients. A long-term client of the waste and recycling company REMONDIS since 2013, QIC now diverts significantly more of the waste from its Castle Towers and Castle Mall shopping centres from landfill.

QIC's challenge

QIC is committed to making smart and sustainable decisions. As owner and operator of shopping centres that, by their nature, create a lot of waste, it sees managing that waste responsibly as critical.

Waste from shopping centres is very varied – encompassing product packaging of many different types, as well as organic and liquid waste from food courts, supermarkets and fresh food retailers. While centre management controls some of the disposal, tenants are responsible for the majority – so making the waste stream separation process clear and simple is essential to success.

Phill Raynor, Operations Manager for QIC’s Castle Towers and Castle Mall centres says, “The split compactors we had were not giving us the visibility we needed to divert more waste from landfill or minimise our transport and disposal costs.”

REMONDIS’ solution

Since 2016, the REMONDIS team has engaged with QIC shopping centre management on an ongoing basis to reorganise existing waste streams and introduce advanced technologies. At Castle Towers, Castle Mall and Pittwater Place, for example, legacy compactors were replaced in 2020 with 13 state-of-the-art units costing $900,000.

Entry to each waste stream is via a swipe card, so each tenant is identified, the time recorded and waste they dispose of weighed as the hopper loads. The ability of the system to automatically report on which tenant disposes of what type of waste potentially allows centre management to improve on visibility and reporting, and in turn increase their NABERS rating.

The compactors all contain pressure sensors attached to a modem alert, so an SMS or email alert is sent to REMONDIS when they reach 75% full. When a solid recycling compactor is 75% full, there may be three days until it requires emptying, but a food waste hopper may need to be emptied within 12 hours.

This just-in-time approach reduces the transport runs required, as compactors are only emptied when full, rather than on a scheduled roster.

“REMONDIS provides a dedicated education officer,” Raynor says.

“He spends time educating new tenants and monitoring existing ones – He’s also there to identify non-compliers – but his main role is to help, encourage and collaborate with our staff and tenants towards a common goal."

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