Case Studies

With over sixteen years of project experience, a diversity of available services and wide-ranging staff capabilities, EnviroCom can provide clients with specialised services in Environmental Education, Training and Research.

Sunshine Coast Council Office and Depot Reassessment Waste Audit

Client:
Sunshine Coast Council
Keywords:
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In April 2016, EnviroCom undertook a waste audit of the Sunshine Coast Council’s Offices and Depots. The purpose of this audit was to reassess the waste management at selected Council facilities and track changes from 2015 baseline data. The reassessment focused on the rates of waste generation and the waste stream composition from these sites to assist in providing comparative data to assess progress within the Council’s Internal Waste Reduction Action Plan (iWRAP) and the planning for environmental improvements and other sustainability outcomes.

In conjunction with the reassessment ‘back of house’ waste audit, an internal ‘walk through’ waste audit was also undertaken at one of Council’s Administration Precincts.

The internal waste audit provided information on:

  • the amount and types of waste generation that occurs on each floor
  • if the current infrastructure was adequate according to the number of staff located in the area.
  • identified barriers and limitations to improve resource recovery diversion
  • identified opportunities to minimise recycling contamination and maximising resource recovery.

Ongoing monitoring and assessment of three key elements of effective waste management – behaviour and knowledge, infrastructure and services, and policies and procedures is imperative to ensuring sustainable outcomes.

Hawkesbury Show Public Place Recycling Program 23/4/2016

EnviroCom Australia, in conjunction with the Hawkesbury District Agriculture Association and Hawkesbury City Council, designed and delivered a public place recycling program for the 2016 Hawkesbury Show, one of the largest rural shows in NSW.

The program was developed to improve waste outcomes at the show, with a particular focus on reducing recycling contamination rates. Prior to the event, EnviroCom liaised with vendors and show organisers to provide strategic recommendations on waste management logistics for show. During the event, a range of initiatives were implemented to better understand public waste disposal behaviours at the show and to educate visitors on best waste disposal practices. ‘Recycling Rovers’ conducted visual bin audits to determine common contaminants and contamination ‘hot spots’. The Rovers engaged with visitors to the Show, assisting them to use the correct bins and providing instant win prizes for patron seen to be recycling right. . Other public education activities such as recycling trivia were conducted at the Council tent.

The program provided Council with valuable data into patron and vendor behaviours and recommendations to further improve waste management practices at future events through improved logistical planning and further public engagement strategies.

Porchetta Day Festival 15/1/2016

Gunnedah’s ‘Porchetta Day Festival’ is a busy community event with a focus on local food, produce and all things Italian.

2015 was the Festival’s seventh year and so was the perfect candidate for introducing Public Place Recycling – to increase resource recovery on the day. In partnership with Council, EnviroCom advised with regards to education material, bin positioning on the day, flyers and signage – all with a focus on reducing the amount of waste generated for disposal at landfill and maximising the use of onsite recycling bins.

Throughout the event EnviroCom hosted a recycling education stall on behalf of Council – handing out educational flyers and prizes to individuals who were spotted doing the right thing and recycling correctly. Resident surveys were also completed at the stall, with the community supportive of Public Place Recycling at events. A visual inspection of recycling and waste bins was also conducted on the day, to assess the contamination found within the recycling stream and estimate the quantity of resource loss in the waste stream. Overall the implementation of the program was a success with visual audits showing low levels of contamination in the recycling bins as well as minimum resource loss found within the residual waste bins.

Orange Waste Diary 12/1/2016

Is a fortnightly waste collection service feasible? Can it be done? What do residents think?

Those were just some of the questions posed by a Orange City Council in 2015. So, in partnership with Council, EnvrioCom set about finding out – through the ‘Fortnightly Waste Collection Trial’ program.

A pilot study was designed and undertaken with around 140 residents volunteering to complete an online weekly ‘Waste Diary’; with a further 20 selected to be ‘audited’ twice during the 12-week trial period. This involved hand sorting the contents of residents’ bins right in front of their eyes!

Supported by educational materials and direct discussion with our consultants, the trial was a success, with the conclusion that the majority of residents could comfortably function on a fortnightly waste collection – with little or no change to current behaviours or practices.

The data gathered was then collated into a final, detailed report which Council can now utilise as they consider whether to go ahead with the implementation of a fortnightly waste collection service.

Organics Education Resource Development

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EnvrioCom has developed an attractive and informative new set of organic waste education resources for South Burnett Regional Council.

 

These resources focus on composting and worm farming and are used to complement community workshops or in a public place display.

 

The full complement includes a Pull-up banner, a Fold out display board and a life model of for each worm farming and composting.

 

‘Train the Trainer’ Composting and Worm Farming Workshop

EnviroCom delivers the annual Waste Education Strategy on behalf of Southern Downs Regional Council and has been facilitating free community workshops on behalf of Council for several years.

The ‘Train the Trainer’ Composting and Worm Farming Workshop was specifically tailored to people that had previously participated in a Council run community composting and worm farming workshop, who are actively composting and/or worm farming, and who are passionate about its environmental benefits.  The workshop, facilitated by a professional environmental educator from EnviroCom, provided participants with all the skills, knowledge and resources to be able to independently deliver composting and/ or worm farming information sessions to friends, family and other residents within the local area, through existing networks, community groups and beyond.

By educating and upskilling engaged members of local communities, the ‘Train the Trainer’ style workshops aim to tap into the knowledge and skills of these local ‘environmental champions’ to help spread key sustainability messages to a broader section of the community.

Recycle Now Kensington

Following on from the success of the MWRRG grant-funded project Recycle Now! The City of Melbourne and EnviroCom delivered a recycling program for the Kensington estate. The Kensington Estate includes a mix of private and public housing dwellings, managed by Urban Communities on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services.

New recycling bins and signage were installed at three high rise towers at the estate, with the aim of increasing recycling and encouraging residents to use the new infrastructure, instead of throwing their recycling into the garbage chute. Residents also received resources to assist them in carrying their recycling to the new bins.

Recycle Now Kensington engaged over 500 residents of the Kensington Estate community through foyer stalls, community presentations, incursions at the local primary school and attendance at a community festival.

The key to success of this Recycle Now program was the collaboration between different stakeholders, which ensured that a variety of residents were reached; from families with young children, CALD groups and elderly residents. This was achieved through attendance at different community events and group meetings and by selecting the appropriate time of day to reach the maximum number of residents for each building.

Nambour Show Public Place Recycling Audit

Client:
Sunshine Coast Council
Keywords:
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In June 2015, EnviroCom undertook a Public Place Recycling Audit of material received at the 2015 Nambour Show. The purpose of this audit was to determine whether recycling receptacles provided at the Show were being used appropriately.

Understanding the recycling behaviour of attendees will assist event mangers to plan for future waste management procedures at this and other events. This assessment was also able to identify what types of contaminant materials were presented. These materials can then be incorporated into vendor agreements to minimise the use of non-recyclable food packaging. 

Waste management of events on all scales is crucial to ensuring sustainable environmental outcomes. EnviroCom has the expertise to deliver tailored waste management advice to ensure your event can achieve these outcomes through by minimising recycling contamination and maximising resource recovery. 

­­­­­Recycle Now!

Client: Melbourne City Council

Recycle Now! – an exciting, MMWG grant-funded project targeting the installation of a brand new recycling service to three large government housing developments in Carlton and North Melbourne.

The residential tower blocks were built in the 1960’s – long before anyone was seriously recycling domestic waste products.   These tower blocks were built with internal ‘garbage chutes’ feeding huge510.2 skip bins at first floor level; everything and anything was being taken to landfill!

Melbourne City Council and EnviroCom have worked with these three developments which now have recycling bins installed in their foyers and an engaged and inspired community filling the bins with beautiful clean recycling!

The key to the success of this program was recognition that installing the bins alone would not be enough to deliver real diversion results.   In April 2015, EnviroCom embarked on a program of ‘champion’ recruitment, aimed at marshalling volunteers for the local (mainly migrant) community to become the champions of the soon-to-be-delivered recycling bins.   These volunteers, after attending a series of workshops, then door knocked every apartment on every floor, introducing the new system and providing residents with information on how to use it.

A series of school incursions, tours to the recycling plant and a celebration party then followed.   This successful program will hopefully provide a blueprint for the delivery of successful recycling programs in other similar housing developments.

Understanding Waste Disposal in Multi-Unit Dwellings

Client: City of Logan

Between October 2014 and June 2015, EnviroCom Australia undertook a pilot program to assess and improve recycling practices in Multi-Unit Dwellings within Logan City, Queensland.

This study was the first of its kind for Logan City, its aim being to better understand the performance and behaviour of residents accessing shared waste services within Multi-Unit developments.

This project effectively mapped the change in residents’ disposal behaviours, through time in response to targeted education programs aimed at reducing recycling contamination and resource loss.

As the construction of high density developments continues to rapidly increase nationwide, studies such as this can provide Councils and businesses with valuable insights into the system performance, role of education and policy as well as planning requirements for these shared residential waste service arrangements.