Reliable, Safe and Sustainable Waste Management Strategies for Childcare Centres. Nationwide


With our leadership in sustainability and recycling solutions, Nationwide Waste can assist providers in the childcare industry to cut costs while optimising sustainability results. Our thorough waste management plans are designed to specifically address the requirements of childcare facilities, guaranteeing dependable, secure, and environmentally sustainable solutions. Through collaboration with Nationwide, childcare providers can proficiently execute waste minimisation, waste disposal, and recycling initiatives that not only safeguard the environment but also serve as a model for young children, cultivating a sustainable culture and understanding at an early age.


Reducing the amount of waste produced by early childhood facilities becomes increasingly crucial as the childcare and education sectors grow. Childcare centre waste solutions and management can be a complex and time consuming process, and developing a sustainable strategy for managing waste is a crucial step for any childcare business. As your partner waste management company, we understand that waste management requirements will always vary by centre. Our knowledgeable and expert staff can assist your centre by providing advice and strategies for:


  • Introducing or increasing recycling practices
  • Carrying out waste audits and reporting
  • Updating waste bins (both within and outside the centre) to enable efficient collection and disposal
  • Teaching kids and/or employees about waste minimisation and why it is so important 
  • Introducing habit change strategies and putting them into practice to assist your facility in recycling, reducing and re-use of waste
  • Making your waste management processes simple!

There are several key types of waste that we assist our childcare partners in managing, including general waste, cardboard, commingled and food organics recycling, secure document destruction, grease trap collections, washroom, nappy and sanitary services, medical waste disposal and pest control.  



Significant time and cost savings can be achieved by partnering with one supplier to reliably manage the various waste management requirements of your childcare facility. By offering all services under one roof, Nationwide Waste Solutions simplifies the handling of general waste. You can remove complicated vendor relationships and administrative workloads by streamlining your waste management procedures with our team. In addition to leveraging economies of scale to guarantee consistency and reliability, partnering with one waste supplier significantly lowers waste collection and disposal expenses. Another positive is that scheduling, billing, and communication are made easier by working with a single supplier, freeing up your time and your employees to concentrate more on their main goal of offering high-quality care and education, than on handling waste logistics.

“General waste” typically refers to non-recyclable and non-hazardous waste that is collected from various sources, and in the context of childcare centres, general waste can include:

  1. Non-Recyclable Packaging:
    • Plastic wrap and bags
    • Other food packaging that cannot be recycled
    • Styrofoam cups or containers
  2. Office and Classroom Waste:
    • Used paper that cannot be recycled (e.g., laminated paper, sticky notes)
    • Broken stationary and craft supplies that cannot be recycled
  3. Cleaning Waste:
    • Used cleaning cloths and mops
    • Empty and contaminated cleaning product containers
  4. Mixed Materials:
    • Composite materials that are difficult to separate for recycling
    • Broken toys and equipment that cannot be repaired or recycled
  5. Miscellaneous Waste:
    • Personal care items
    • Small, non-recyclable plastic items (e.g., straws, cutlery)

Typically, general waste is collected and taken to landfills or incinerators, where it is disposed of. Our goal is to educate and implement effective strategies that reduce the amount of general waste sent to landfills and work towards a nett zero waste goal. This, in turn, lessens the environmental effect and eases the operational load on childcare facilities.



For childcare facilities, partnering with Nationwide to manage all of your cardboard, food organics recycling, and mixed recycling can result in considerable time and cost savings. Centres that combine multiple waste streams into a single supplier experience reduced administrative costs and more effective financial management due to streamlined operations and a single billing system. Through a single waste partner, recycling efforts are maximised, service interruptions are reduced, and operational efficiency is increased. Childcare facilities can also benefit economically and environmentally by using the experience of our waste management team to help you achieve higher recycling rates and lower disposal costs. 

The following are the top three recycling categories for food organics, cardboard, and commingled (mixed) waste in childcare centres:

Commingled Recycling: Commingled recycling refers to the collection of various recyclable materials in a single container, which are then sorted at a recycling facility. The top three types most commonly related to childcare centres are:

  • Plastic bottles and containers:
    • Includes juice bottles, milk jugs, and cleaning product containers 
      • These are typically made of recyclable plastics like PET and HDPE and reliable plastic recycling collections should always be part of a sustainable plastics management strategy
  • Aluminium cans and foil:
    • Includes beverage cans and clean aluminium foil used in food prep
  • Glass bottles and jars:
    • Includes food jars and glass bottles
      • Glass is another material that can be recycled multiple times without losing quality.

Cardboard Recycling: Cardboard recycling involves the collection and reprocessing of cardboard materials. The top three types specific to childcare centres are:

  1. Shipping and packaging boxes:
    • Includes boxes used for receiving supplies within the centre
      • These are typically made of corrugated cardboard, which is widely recycled
  2. Food packaging and cartons:
    • Includes cereal boxes, snack boxes, and other cardboard food packaging
      • These materials can be flattened and placed in recycling bins
  3. Paperboard from craft supplies:
    • Includes packaging for crayons, markers, and other art/ paper supplies
      • Paperboard is less rigid than corrugated cardboard but is highly recyclable

Food Organics Recycling: Food organics recycling involves collecting and composting organic waste. The top three types within a childcare centre are:

  • Food scraps from meal prep and leftovers:
    • Includes fruit and vegetable peelings, uneaten food, and leftovers 
      • These scraps can be composted to create nutrient-rich soil in gardens! Implementing a best practice food waste collection service is the key to managing your organic waste practices 
  • Coffee grounds/ tea bags:
    • Includes used coffee grounds from staff lounges and used tea bags
      • These items are excellent for composting and improving soil quality
  • Napkins and paper towels:
    • Includes used paper napkins and towels from mealtime and cleanup
      • Although not traditional food items, these organic materials break down well in composting systems

Childcare facilities can minimise environmental impact, improve sustainability, and provide a better and cleaner environment for children by efficiently handling these waste streams through effective recycling programmes. Talk to the Nationwide team today and let us guide you on your sustainability journey.



As you can imagine, when it comes to nappies and other sanitary services, day to day waste management can be extremely challenging for childcare facilities. At Nationwide – we get it! We’ve assisted clients in every situation and scenario and can assist other centres who might be facing their own unique challenges when it comes to disposing of waste. With one baby having the capacity to produce up to 700kg of waste in disposable nappies to landfill per year, it takes from 150 to 500 years to break down. 


FACT: Over 3.75 million disposable nappies are being used every day in Australia!  


Nappies, both cloth and disposable, have an effect on the environment, and having a reliable sanitary bin collections service is key to sustainably managing nappy waste. Every day, millions of disposable nappies end up in landfills, and the production of these nappies depletes finite resources and fuels global warming. 


It may surprise you to learn that the production of single-use nappies has a higher environmental impact than their disposal.

  • For one child (from birth to 2.5 years old), more than 1,500 litres of crude oil are needed to make enough nappies, and producing disposables uses ten times as much water as washing reusable ones.
  • The primary ingredient in disposable nappies is wood pulp, whose manufacture uses a lot of water and contributes to deforestation and soil degradation
  • The carbon footprint of a nappy can be cut in half by switching to reusables, which equates to 200kg of CO2 over the course of 2.5 years

Many childcare centres only accept the use of disposable nappies; however, there is a movement towards re-usable cloth nappies, which are much more environmentally sustainable. As we transition from single-use plastics like straws, bags, and coffee cups, it’s critical to acknowledge that wet wipes and nappies also fall into this category. Managing these types of waste effectively and sustainably is the key to success, economic savings, and a healthier planet in the future. Recycling used nappies into compost and other sustainable solutions are well on the way to becoming a success!  



The waste challenges and requirements of any childcare centre are many and varied. While dealing with managing the day to day waste disposal throughout a facility, managers and staff also have additional waste considerations for things like; secure document destruction, grease trap collections, medical waste disposal, and pest control. The list can seem overwhelming and complex, but that’s where our team can help. 


  • Secure Document Destruction: The secure document destruction services offered by Nationwide are completely private, safe, and eco-friendly. We are certified and understand the complexities involved in handling private and delicate data.
  • Grease Trap Collections: Once grease trap waste has been removed from your facility, our grease trap company team will transport to a nearby depot. Following EPA requirements, Nationwide disposes of FOG waste items and recycles them in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. 
  • Medical Waste Disposal: We specialise in medical waste removal and medical waste disposal for childcare dentres and can tailor a solution specific to your needs.
  • Pest Control: Controlling unwanted pests and maintaining hygiene are imperatives in a childcare setting. We offer a comprehensive pest management inspection, tailored treatment recommendations, an extermination service, and ongoing treatment and prevention as required.    


Choosing an experienced, reliable and holistic waste management partner for your childcare facility will ensure that you get all the support and strategic advice you need. We make complex processes simple and are transparent with all of our communication and activity. Our goal is to take your childcare centre from good – to great! Get in touch with our team today!