Business sustainability

Sustainability is important to us, and we know it’s important to businesses in Yarra too. Here are some ways we can help your business become more sustainable.

People sitting at tables and chairs on a footpath outside a hospitality business in Yarra, like a cafe or restaurant. The street is leafy and there are lots of parked bicycles.

Sustainable business workshops

Our first workshop for 2020 will be on Tuesday 31 March, discussing power purchase agreements. Further details will be announced shortly.

Energy efficiency

Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF) provides a range of services and advice to help you:

  • improve your energy efficiency
  • save money, and
  • reduce your carbon footprint.

YEF can assist you with:

  • retrofitting for LED lighting
  • seeking renewable energy providers
  • installing solar panels.

YEF can also link you in with similar businesses in your industry that may have recently improved energy efficiency and can guide you on your sustainability journey.

Environmental Upgrade Finance

Yarra City Council is offering access to Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) to assist businesses with financing commercial building upgrades to improve environmental performance.

Upgrades can include:

  • the installation of solar panels
  • solar hot water systems
  • lighting
  • insulation
  • equipment upgrades
  • waste water systems
  • and other energy management solutions.

Under an EUF agreement, lenders provide a long-term loan to a building owner for the upgrades, Yarra City Council collects the repayments through our rates system and passes them on to the lender.

Contact Yarra Energy Foundation or our Sustainability Team to find out more. Further information is available via Sustainability Victoria.

Proudly Plastic Free

We are supporting businesses to go plastic free through our Proudly Plastic Free Program.

For more information see our Sustainability Page.

Coffee grounds

Yarra has a booming cafe culture and coffee grounds are a useful form of organic waste. A medium-sized cafe can easily stop 3 tonnes of coffee grounds a year from ending up in landfill. That’s equal to preventing 4.2 tonnes of methane gas from being released into our atmosphere.

Some suggestions for how to manage coffee ground waste:

  • Have a worm farm. Worm farms can take a small amount of coffee grounds.
  • Compost bins like coffee grounds. When adding them, a mix of two thirds coffee grounds to one third leaves is a good mix.
  • The Collingwood Children’s Farm accepts coffee ground waste. There’s a limit to how much they can accept, so contact them directly to find out more.
  • There are services such as Reground, which charge a small fee to pick up your coffee ground waste.  Reground redistributes the coffee waste where it’s needed – to community and home gardens and farmers.


Did you know that soft plastics can be recycled, but not in your normal recycling bin? And it’s okay to put a greasy pizza box in the recycling bin! Read about what goes into your recycling bin.

If you’d like to inspire your customers, clients or staff to get recycling right, we have free recycling posters available for you to download and print for your business.

Waste education signs for your workplace

We all need to work together to improve the way we recycle to recover our valuable resources and keep them out of landfill. Print and display these waste and recycling educational signs to help your staff understand which items go into the recycling and rubbish bins.

If your business has separate collections for other waste streams, you can download and use these signs:

Waste collection

For general information on our waste collection services for businesses, visit our business waste collection page.

Electronic waste

From Monday 1 July 2019, electronic waste is banned from landfill and must be disposed of at a designated collection point.

Electronic waste is anything with a battery or a plug, including phones, laptops, appliances and toys.

Find an e-waste drop-off point in Yarra.