Lismore staff to manage its own waste

Management style changes are expected to give Lismore City Council staff a better idea of what is a waste of resources.

Council has introduced a plan for its internal staff to actively identify what is a ‘waste of money, brains and time’ (WOMBAT).

The WOMBAT plan is to change the council’s internal culture and move away from the top-down approach, instead allowing lower level staff to become more active in solving common problems.

It stems from the red ‘no smoking’ sign to depict a wombat silhouette instead, where staff members are reminded of the ‘waste of…’ mantra.

This plan comes as the NSW Government has outlined its view that the amount of office paper sent to landfill is unsustainable for the environment, along with its suggestions for waste reduction in office buildings.

These guidelines from the Department of Environment include suggestions on knowing paper company outlets, what they supply and how to properly dispose of it.

However the council has eliminated the use of paper by procuring Apple iPads, following a trial with councillors and staff reading business papers from iPads instead of hard copy.

According to the council, the plan significantly improved the way work was conducted, so the council has now made a permanent switch using iPads

This move is expected to save the council around $1200 a month in printing costs after one year.

General Manager, Gary Murphy said that work places that foster good ideas and dispose of things that aren’t working are better ways to create a cohesive workforce.

“From there, financial savings, better relationships and a more efficient team is the inevitable outcome,” Mr Murphy said.

Infrastructure Services executive director, Garry Hemsworth said this is a way to get staff closest to the problem to solve the problem.

“Staff will be involved in implementing the ideas they’ve put forward, so they can see their input is not just valued but heeded and acted upon,” Mr Hemsworth said.

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