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5 October 2021

Rubbish Chutes: a compact look at what they can deliver

Ratio’s waste team possesses expert knowledge and experience consulting on chute systems Australia-wide, ranging from high-rise towers to smaller multi-unit developments, hotels, commercial office buildings and shopping centres.

A well-designed rubbish chute system optimises bin room and loading dock sizes by integrating compaction to significantly reduce waste volumes and bin quantities, enabling more floor area to be allocated to retail or apartments. Chute systems can also reduce labour costs by decreasing the manual handling of bins with automated bin changeover systems.

When to chute?

It’s crucial to implement best practice waste design at an early stage of development to prevent costly re-designs later on. Poorly designed chute systems will emit bad smells, suffer regular chute blockages and break down easily, often requiring repair or even total replacement which inconveniences building owners and tenants.

By employing waste management experts from the design stage, you can ensure the chute system is correctly incorporated into the building design from the outset and that the best quality products and suppliers are brought on board to ensure break-down problems are avoided.

Lastly, it is important to select quality chute systems as, despite the potential higher initial outlay, they will provide cost savings and satisfaction in the long term.

Matching the chute to the development

There are several rubbish chutes on the market: single chutes, single diverter chutes and dual chutes.

Single chutes are typically used only for general waste. Since they don’t encourage waste separation from tenants, they are generally not permitted in buildings with more than 3 residential levels.

Diverter chutes electronically divert waste into two separate streams. While they produce less of a design footprint on each floor level than dual chutes, they are more costly to install. Furthermore, they result in overall poor waste separation due to the often lengthy waiting period to select the correct waste stream. Consequently, some Councils ‒ including the City of Melbourne ‒ won’t approve diverter chutes in any new developments.

Lastly, dual chutes comprise of two chutes, one for general waste and one for recycling. It’s our recommendation to install dual chutes every time to ensure waste is correctly separated for efficient curbside collection. Dual chutes are convenient for residents and staff to use, encourage the re-use of more waste materials and decrease the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Waste windup: did you know …?

  • Plastic chutes are often the quietest and most durable rubbish chutes when compared to steel chutes. Plastic chutes do not require acoustic lagging, which can save a client several thousand dollars. Additionally, high-quality plastic chutes have a smoother internal surface and, therefore, are less prone to blockages.
  • Food organics and potentially glass separation will become mandatory in Victoria in the coming years. Due to Ratio’s existing relationships with chute suppliers, we can assist by incorporating chute systems (including organics chutes) into new building designs to help achieve more sustainable design outcomes and adherence to policy.
  • Melbourne-based and family-owned waste-management company Wastech Engineering are known for their high-quality waste equipment ‒ including their SmoothTubes chute ‒ and are one of our recommended suppliers. When considering which rubbish chutes to incorporate into your building design, Ratio’s waste team can organise onsite visits to showcase current chute designs in operation.

By implementing best practice waste management principles and encouraging better ongoing waste separation and minimisation in new developments, we can avoid design issues, reduce ongoing costs and make more profitable use of valuable floor space in your development. Additionally, best waste management practises will reduce our environmental footprint and help create sustainable behaviour changes on a large scale to help us move towards a circular economy.

Article by Environmental Consultant Lachlan Harris

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