Mates on the move

In 2014, we committed to sending zero waste to landfill by 2030. We are also committed to leaving a positive legacy in the communities in which we operate. Mates on the Move (MotM) is an initiative that helps us achieve both objectives.

Disposable coffee cups and bathroom paper towels have been identified as the main contaminants in mixed recycling streams within our office buildings and shopping centres. In Australia, over one billion disposable coffee cups end up in landfill each year. Having implemented a program to separate coffee cups and paper towels from other recycling streams, our challenge was to find a cost efficient way to transport this waste to a facility where it would be used as an alternative to fossil fuel in cement manufacturing. 

Meanwhile, we learnt that with every $100,000 spent on social procurement, one and a half jobs are created for disadvantaged Australians¹. This presented a unique opportunity for Mirvac: by combining our waste and social objectives, we could improve our recycling rates and use our purchasing power to collaborate with a social enterprise.

Through our ongoing relationship with Social Traders, we engaged Mates on the Move (MotM), a social enterprise initiative of the Prisoners’ Aid Association of NSW.

MotM is a transport and logistics company that reduces recidivism by providing employment pathways for some of the 12,000 men and women exiting NSW correctional centres every year. MotM employs our main driver, Bill Galea, and a co-driver to assist in the collections twice a week across 11 CBD buildings to collect and transport the separated coffee cups and towels to the PEF facility in western Sydney.

In the first 12 months, we collected over 90 tonnes of paper towels and coffee cups, receiving some very positive feedback from retailers, tenants, and facility managers. On
the back of this success, we’re looking for opportunities to work with MotM more extensively, and have raised awareness about their work within the industry via the
City of Sydney Better Buildings Partnership.