Litter Prevention and Waste Management
Congratulations to the 2016 State Winner for
Litter Prevention and Waste Management: Meekatharra
Meeka Goes Green (MGG) Recycling Centre is a unique community-driven operation that officially opened in November 2015.
The Centre opens on Saturdays between 9 and 11am and is manned by four volunteers. The Waste Authority provided $18,000 for the purchase of crushers, balers and bins. A water tank has been installed to collect water for large garden beds at the front of the facility where visitors can harvest crops. There are additional collection points at the Community Resource Centre and the Youth Centre.
The impact of being able to recycle in Meekatharra is evident by the amount of cans, plastic and card being taken to the centre weekly. Since opening, 28 bales of aluminium cans, ten bales of white plastics (1 & 2), and eleven boxes of newspapers have been recycled. Fifty tonnes of cardboard have also been recycled in conjunction with Farmer Jacks supermarket. Half of the money received from recycling is donated to Princess Margaret Hospital and half is used to fund the Centre.
In March, 'Clean Up Meeka Day’ resulted in 25 volunteers collecting 40 sacks of general waste, 20 sacks of aluminium cans, one trailer-load of aluminium cans, and one trailer load of items for repurposing (such as iron rods, wood and rubber). The recyclable materials were then transported to the Centre so that volunteers could be educated on the recycling process and on how their collection had contributed to increasing the MGG tonnage.
Plans for the future include providing recycling bins to households to encourage change to day-to-day activities in managing waste and being able to recycle glass.
Third wheelie bin
In April 2016, the Shire of Collie expanded its kerbside collection system by introducing a third wheelie bin to recycle garden and food waste. Funding of $117,000 came from the State government’s Better Bins Program.
The introduction of the organics bin has been a great success: the amount of material recycled in the first month of operation with the third bin was 94.80 tonnes, or 52 per cent of collected waste (up from 17 per cent in July 2015). The greenhouse gas reduction from composting organic waste instead of landfilling was 1.401 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per tonne of organic waste. This result was achieved three years earlier than predicted and means that the State-set target of 50 per cent diversion from landfill by the year 2020 is already being met by the Shire for its kerbside bin services. In addition auditing found that the organic waste collected locally was cleaner than that of other centres, requiring less handing.
Water Without Waste
Greenbushes Tidy Towns Committee successfully won funding from Keep Australia Beautiful (WA) to purchase a water station. Dubbed the ‘Water Without Waste’ project, the attractive, portable equipment has proven easy to use at community events. It is also a practical tool to promote an important message about reducing the use of plastics and in particular the purchase of plastic over the counter water bottles.
The water station is self-promoting as it has a message on the base and provides a wow factor which is simply not available if people used a ‘tap’ point at community events. First used at the Australia Day barbeque in Greenbushes, the water station is loaned out to community groups for use at events such as festival and sporting activities. People at Greenbushes Fun Run said that the water tasted fantastic and very tasty, yet it was only what came out of the tap at the sports ground and through a filter!
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group (KBULG) secured funding from Keep Australia Beautiful (WA) to purchase 22 new recycling bins to be used at community events. KBULG recognised that there was a need to increase community involvement in recycling, yet there had always been a distinct lack of recycling bins at community events.
The new bins were launched at the Goldfields Community Expo in February and will be used at all community events from now on. These bins will reduce the amount of recyclable materials going to landfill, reduce the amount of litter found at events, and reduce the time-consuming and costly clean-ups often required after an event.
Port & South Hedland
Care for Hedland is extremely active in coordinating voluntary litter pick-up activities, cash for trash, litter prevention initiatives, trailer nets and Adopt-a-Spot groups. This year also saw business and industry in Hedland get involved in keeping Hedland clean through industry clean-ups.
Two clean-ups were carried out in November and in February, with more planned for the future. The first was managed by the Pilbara Ports Authority and had over 50 volunteers assist in collecting rubbish from a road approaching the port of Port Hedland. A large amount of the litter collected was assumed to be from unsecured loads and the information gained will be used to conduct future rubbish blitzes.
The second clean-up was managed by the Port Hedland Industries Council. The activity was aimed at addressing perceived industry-related issues of littering in the town. More than 80 participants picked up 1.4 tonnes of rubbish in one area approaching the port.
Companies involved included Fortescue Metals Group, BHP Billiton, Veolia, Roy Hill Infrastructure, Atlas Iron, Consolidated Minerals, and Aditya Birla Group who enabled staff to participate in the clean-ups.
The Wickham Tidy Towns Committee (WTT) held three community clean-ups in 2015/16. The clean-ups are voluntarily coordinated by WTT (which has 26 members) and are sponsored by the City of Karratha’s Cleansweep Taskforce ‘Bucks for Bags’ program and Rio Tinto (each donating $6 per bag).
WTT encouraged all community groups to take part with information available through flyers, school notices, Shire advertising and through the new WTT Facebook page.
WTT’s monthly meetings were attended by representatives from the City of Karratha and Rio Tinto, resulting in the clean-ups being well supported and coordinated. Planning involved liaising with Toxfree to supply and pick up large bins for bags collected, and liaising with groups and assigning an area to pick up rubbish. WTT also held a barbeque at the conclusion from their new custom designed Tidy Towns trailer, donated by Spotless and refurbished by Austin Engineering.
Twenty-two community groups participated in the clean ups with 2,977 bags of rubbish collected, resulting in $35,724 being put back into the community. Wickham’s football club used their funds from the clean up towards a new football strip. WTT used funds to raise their profile with new shirts and hats and also supported the new community garden and school orchard. WTT has additional plans to offer grants to assist community clubs.
Please click below to read more about State Winners:
Heritage and Culture
Communty Action and Wellbeing