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We’re excited to announce that our pilot QR Code project has yielded fantastic results…

By partnering with London’s leading recycling company, Bywaters, BNP Paribas real estate site Southworks has since successfully improved its recycling rates. However, the parties involved acknowledged that there was still room for improvement. With recycling rates hovering around 60%, both Southworks and Bywaters were eager to discover effective ways to educate building occupants, staff, and visitors on the importance of recycling.

Understanding the Challenge

Through joint audits and meetings, Southworks and Bywaters gained a better understanding of the teams that are most likely to recycle, which proved invaluable in this endeavour. This case study showcases the importance of education and collaboration while striving to achieve sustainable goals.

In mid-2022, Southworks and Bywaters set the task of boosting the building’s recycling rate – it was clear that educating building occupiers, staff, and visitors on recycling was key to achieving this goal.

Moreover, it was also made clear through these audits that the building needed to prioritise its cleaning teams. Southworks was determined to provide them with all the necessary tools to do empower them.

The QR Code Solution

To reduce paper waste and increase occupier engagement, Southworks and Bywaters decided to implement QR Codes on the bins starting in June 2022. The data presented from the initial stage of this pilot clearly shows a positive impact on recycling rates, with an increase from 50.6% to 63.0%. But Southworks wasn’t content to stop there.

Committed to inclusivity, Southworks and Bywaters identified a key area to improve on  – language barriers. To ensure everyone could participate, they developed multilingual pilot QR codes, allowing users to choose their preferred language for clear waste disposal instructions.

This initiative exemplifies the power of removing language barriers for a more inclusive and sustainable workplace, ultimately boosting Southwork’s recycling goals.

Results and Impact

Unclear instructions and language barriers can hinder even the best recycling efforts.

Southworks and Bywaters found that using QR codes to translate the bin instructions into the chosen language of all its cleaners proved to be a game-changer. Not only did this method make it easier for everyone to understand the facility’s waste management system, but it also helped Southworks significantly increase its recycling rates across the board.

Over the last six months, the QR code program has yielded exciting and encouraging results. By providing QR codes that translated the bins into a plethora of languages, Southworks has supported and empowered its team to participate in its recycling, resulting in a boost in recycling rates. In July, the program was rolled out. Since then, the recycling rate has steadily increased, reaching its peak in December at a staggering 76.1%. These numbers demonstrate that simple and thoughtful adjustments can make a huge difference in sustainability.

To further detail its performance, here is a monthly break down Southwork’s impressive recycling rates:

  • July (initial rollout) – 58.2%
  • August – 65.4%
  • September – 67.1%
  • October – 72.8%
  • November – 75.8%
  • December – 76.1%

Southworks Recycling Rates

Bywaters provides recycling services alongside dedicated services to boost its clients’ facilities’ sustainability targets. Contact us today to find out how we can help your building become more planet-friendly.


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