Litter Prevention and Waste Management 2017
Congratulations to the 2017 State Winner for Litter Prevention and Waste Management:
State Finalists for the 2017 Litter Prevention and Waste Management Award were:
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
The influx of up to 10,000 visitors over a weekend to Nannup's annual music festival creates issues in waste management and litter prevention. The not-for-profit Nannup Music Club began the Green Steps initiative with the aim to take a few ‘green steps’ each year and put the music festival at the forefront of environmentally friendly event management. Festival organisers self-manage the event waste. They have bought trailers and ‘tidy teams’ are in charge of taking these directly to the local tip facilities. In addition, they have partnered with Cleanaway who collect and remove the recyclable items.
In previous years, the music festival organisers have encouraged the use of stainless steel water bottles, supplying these to all musicians, encouraged all patrons to BYO bottles and cups and implemented the ongoing “Refill & Re-hydrate” project which utilises three water refill stations over the festival site.
In 2017 the festival team initiated two more green steps. The first was possible through a $3000 Keep Australia Beautiful Community Litter Grant. The “Serving the Planet, One Meal at a Time” project included the use of washable crockery and cutlery and a wash-down station. This showcased the use of 100% waste free serving alternatives to locals and visitors.
The second step was the introduction of written food stall guidelines. Stall holders are now asked to use only biodegradable/compostable takeaway cutlery, meal and beverage containers. Food traders are given the opportunity to compost their organic waste and are asked to not supply plastic bags.
The festival also trialled the use of branded reusable plastic wine glasses that patrons could use for the duration of the festival. The team hopes to build on this idea to reduce single use plastic cups at future festivals.
These innovative initiatives have seen a significant reduction in unnecessary waste generated by food holders, less single use plastic is being sent to landfill and a reduction in litter around the town site during the festival weekend. In addition, the festival has become an event that educates locals and visitors in the importance of ‘refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle’ ethos.
Materials Recovery Centre
The Materials Recovery Centre (MRC), funded by the Australian Packaging Covenant and launched in November 2016 is a significant achievement for this Island community.
Glass is now crushed and reused in the island for aggregate in concrete and anti-slip surfaces. Aluminium cans are crushed, baled and stored until they can be sent back to the main land for recycling. Polystyrene boxes that are not reused or recycled are processed in the densifier machine.
Residents were also provided with three separation bins to help people to separate waste streams more easily at home.
Aluminium Can Recycling
With no Local Government recycling in Coral Bay, the Coral Bay Conservation Group (CBCG) initiated a can recycling program that has seen hundreds of kilograms of aluminium cans diverted from landfill. Bins constructed from reused materials scavenged from the tip are placed around the townsite next to waste bins and in other strategic locations. Volunteers construct the bins, empty the bins and transport the cans to a storage location awaiting collection by couriers.
With transportation having major cost implications in regional Western Australia it was imperative to garner in-kind support as the project would not be viable otherwise. RNL couriers provide in-kind support by back loading and taking the cans to Carnarvon for recycling. All proceeds raised are donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Recycling Bin Tagging Project
Kalgoorlie-Boulder council in conjunction with contractors and community groups developed a community-wide recycling education program, jointly funded by the Waste Authority Community Education Grant ($20,000 matched by the City for a total of $40,000). Through the use of bin tags that specifically outline any non-recyclable items viewed in the residents recycling bin at the time of inspection, the project aims to further educate the community on the importance of recycling and how to do it correctly.
Two types of tags are used. One that informs residents of contamination issues and another that thanks those that have recycled correctly. The program has shown decreases in a number of non-recyclable items in recycling bins, with a drop from 66% to 22% of bins tagged in recurrent tagging rounds.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder also provides the opportunity for households to receive a recycling education home visit which is facilitated by Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group at the request of the household.
Less Waste to Landfill
The Shire upgraded waste service facilities now include co-mingled recycling bins, while scrap metal and green waste drop off points are found at three of the waste facilities. There are also various drop off points for light globes and fluoro tubes while household battery and mobile phone recycling bins are conveniently located around the community.
These new services have resulted in waste being redirected to recycling facilities. Residents that don't have access to kerbside collections have the opportunity to recycle and tourists are more likely to dispose of their waste responsibly.
A new tip ship at the Shire’s Davis Road Waste and Recycling Facility is popular and is a great way to reuse or repurpose unwanted items.
As another initiative, the Shire has also installed surveillance cameras at illegal dumping hotspots.
Wickham Tidy Towns committee along with 100’s of volunteers conducted 4 major community litter clean-up days. This project is now in its sixth year and has continued to grow each year with it now extending beyond the CBD boundaries.
It is such a successful project that has required the Tidy Towns committee to develop and provide every community member in Wickham and Point Samson a community clean-up calendar so that they can keep the dates free and attend the events. Resources such as bags, gloves and pick up tools are provided and each clean-up day is finished with a free community BBQ. This year’s project saw 2500 bags of litter collected and disposed of and has seen a reduction in litter at known hotspots. Community engagement and education are a large part of the success of this project and there has been a change in perceptions and attitudes towards litter.
This project is supported by the City of Karratha’s “Bags for Bucks Scheme” where community groups receive $6 per bag of litter collected to help local community groups fundraise as well as keeping Wickham clean and litter free.